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John Madera

JOHN MADERA’s fiction and criticism has appeared in many print and online venues. He edits Big Other and lives in New York City.

FICTION: Stairs and Flourishes

Joanna Howard’s lapidary debut On the Winding Stair is an escalier spiraling with brocaded lyricism, alternately swathed in darkness and bathed in phosphorescence.

FOE FLOW

A Jesse Ball magic mystery tour in a land of Calvino’s fables? With zany temporal shifts and winsome absurdities, Light Boxes, Shane Jones’s refractive first book, dispatches readers on just such a journey. Lyrical flights and evocative metaphors render the prose in poetic terms. In The Failure Six, Jones methodically dispenses with storytelling, surrendering the text to one strange and beautiful image after another

ON BEING NOIR

“You know plenty about getting sucked into stories that have already been told”: so says Philip M. Noir, private eye in Robert Coover’s latest lightly metafictive take on the hardboiled detective novel.

Rose Alley

Cinematic history is littered with screenplays that never took off, films halted midstream because of exorbitant production costs, and projects derailed by Machiavellian producers and directors or megalomaniacal actors. Many of these ill-fated films were simply stored away to anonymously languish in a vault—some released years later to satisfy researchers, aficionados, and completists.

In Conversation

Expanding the Possibilities of Story: AMBER SPARKS with John Madera

Love and death, as themes, figure prominently throughout The Unfinished World and Other Stories, and they’re often threaded, knotted, or otherwise mangled together when they appear.

Fiction: STAIRS AND FLOURISHES

Joanna Howard’s lapidary debut On the Winding Stair is an escalier spiraling with brocaded lyricism, alternately swathed in darkness and bathed in phosphorescence.

Down on the Cutting Room Floor

Allusive, digressive, transgressive, John Domini’s Movieola! upends Tinseltown’s cheap dream factory, its empty fantasias, the book’s title a reference to a clunky 20th-century contraption that allowed editors to view and tweak movies in real-time.

FICTION: OUR LOTS OF LITTLE

Anxiety suffuses much of Life of a Star, Jane Unrue’s lapidary bloodletting, and much of it is borne from the narrator’s bemoaning of language’s limitations, memory’s imprecision, romance’s sudden changes, and the seeming impossibility of love.

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The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2020

All Issues