Our original short story this month features three characters caught in a love-triangle, engaged in a violent struggle. The story unfurls in one sentence, the form of “Kids” perfectly mirroring the breathless desperation of its characters.
Last Resort traces the anxious spiraling path of a writer who has lifted a plot from his friend. Trapped in a cycle of inauthenticity and need for external validation, Caleb becomes a master of rationalization and bargaining as he transforms his friend's story into a major novel. Caleb chiefly concerns himself with the public-facing side of writing (readings, photoshoots, parties, reviews) and lacks the daemon that defines an artistLast Resort is a kunstlerroman if the kunst were limited to promotion. Thankfully, Andrew Lipstein suffers from none of his characters' limitations. There's a line in this excerpt, "But flaws need sympathy..." that does a lot to explain why Lipstein's book is such a success.