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The Noise of the Rain

It has always been the case, as long as I have—or anyone I know has—been reading the poems of Sarah Plimpton and looking at the (apparently) drastically simple forms of the drawings she constructs that are so instantly recognizable.

In Conversation

Down with the Corpocratic Monoculture!
Holly Tavel with Angela Woodward

Holly Tavel and Angela Woodward have both been published by the Spokane, Washington-based Ravenna Press, which has released books by many other intriguing and imaginative writers.

The Beasts in Me

For a long time, we humans have tried to distinguish ourselves from monsters. The Wonders of the East, an Old English precursor to the medieval bestiary, is a catalogue of creatures thought to inhabit Africa and Asia.

Exile on Main Street

Go Home is the story of Viraf, who, like author Sohrab Homi Fracis, is an immigrant to America from India’s Parsi community, a group that left Persia a millennium ago to escape religious persecution.

In Conversation

Relationships Require Fictions to Sustain Them: Jonathan Baumbach with Charles Shafaieh

I don’t actually know what I’m thinking until the particular fiction I’m writing discovers it for me.

The Poet As Caretaker (having said too much having not gotten it all down)

“No one is too beautiful for the ugly journal,” Stacy Szymaszek writes sometime between January 17 and February 15, 2013, as collected in her Journal of Ugly Sites & Other Journals (Fence Books, 2016)

Picking at the Whole Notion of Story

Say you discover in your teens that your dad was married to another woman when he met your mother (and that he lied to your mother about his marital status), and that when your parents divorce, you go with your bipolar mother, and your older sister goes with your dad. Say your dad is a somewhat/sometimes charming guy but also secretive and always short on money, and that, at some point, you realize that the cause of this charming secretive cashlessness has to do with a severe gambling addiction.

In Conversation

MAUREEN N. MCLANE with Alex Dueben

One of my muses is ambivalence. I think that conventions are both enormously appealing and enabling, but also potentially mind-deadening. Both are true. They can stimulate and they can constrain. I feel very passionate about the emotional and intellectual opportunities afforded by contrariness.

Review of The Patriots

And so, three generations of yearning wanderers are trapped in an emotional limbo between the United States and Russia, weighed down by—yet also dangerously ignorant—of history. When Lenny says, “nothing here is straightforward,” Krasikov wants us to think not only about Russia, but also family life, over the decades.

In Conversation

The Parts That Were Mysterious Even to Me
ROBERT KLOSS with Amber Sparks

I think he’s one of the least interesting things ever to happen to this country and electing him was the most obvious thing we could do. He’s the most American thing about America and we’re all just so disgusted and ashamed and horrified to realize it. But he’s the natural endpoint. And I don’t necessarily mean Trump, but someone like Trump.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2017

All Issues