By Meryl Branch-McTiernan
APRIL 2021 | Fiction
An Ecstasy of Parting, by Meryl Branch-McTiernan draws its title from an Emily Dickinson poem, and like the poem tackles a dark subject at its heart. When we meet the main character, hes waking up to the aftermath of an alcohol-fueled argument with his wife. We watch as he tries to redeem himself and regain control of the life hes made for himself through a nostalgia-driven trip to the beach with his young daughter. Branch-McTiernan smoothly alternates the tone of the story between moments of existential dread, tenderness, and humor.
By Will Chancellor
FEB 2021 | Fiction
This month were pleased to publish an excerpt from Vesna Marics The President Shop. The novels backdrop is an allegorical country, The Nation, steeped in tyranny, but the focus is on the human rather than the trappings of propaganda. I was struck by the young woman, Mona, decoding the timelessness thats always present, even as we pass through moments that are consciously historic. Symbology, by Betsy M. Narváez, abounds in images, meanings, dreams, and visions. Here, theres no official, waking world, little external at all. Narváez gives us resonant moments over coffee of a mother and a daughter unpuzzling the language of dreams. Were also tremendously fortunate to have Maisy Card stepping in as co-editor of the fiction section of the Brooklyn Rail. Her debut novel, These Ghosts are Family, masterfully courses through the history of a family while communicating the texture and hunger of life as it was lived.