Fiction: Prose is But a Stage

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Polish author Magdalena Tulli has published four award-winning books, three of which have been translated into English and made available to the U.S. market by Archipelago Books.

Lit(t)eral Poetics

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+|’me’S-pace’s task is to unravel language before our eyes. It is the first in a series of CalArts feminist/critical studies teacher Christine Wertheim’s open notebook investigations of the atomic elements of language; namely, the letters of the alphabet which as she says, “like musical notes only produce Sense when arranged in relational complexes, i.e. propositions…[and] compose into molecular or chord-like arrangements that we call words.”

Prose Roundup

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Poetry Roundup

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An ominous and surreal pall infects this bittersweet collection by two-time NYFA Fellow Bill Kushner, who pairs a character named Billy with Abraham Lincoln. Billy is cast as a simple, wayward lad, innocent but seducible.

Fiction: Pain Under a Microscope

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Poet, novelist, activist, and essayist Ana Castillo had been addressing issues of racism, feminism, and Chicana identity with her award-winning writing (her first novel, The Mixquiahuala Letters, won the American Book Award in 1986) for nearly three decades since moving from Chicago to New Mexico in 2006. It wasn’t too long after the author relocated that she began to wonder what everyday life would be like for those who live on the other side of the Franklin Mountains, a beautiful range close to the border that Castillo stares at—from her kitchen window in a presumably nice home in a presumably affluent neighborhood. We can assume that Cabuche, the rough border town she intimately envisions in her seventh and latest novel The Guardians, manifests on the other side.

FICTION: Fiction in a Flash

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Theoretically, a story can be of any length, even as short as a sentence. But at that level, the definition of “story” breaks down, quantum-like, into unspecificity. Is it mere length that distinguishes a short story from an anecdote, parable, or sketch? These questions may cross your mind if you page through You Have Time for This, a collection of “short-short” stories edited by Mark Budman and Tom Hazuka. No piece in this anthology is more than 500 words, which makes it just long enough to read a bit during a TV commercial break or a trip to the restroom.

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