JUSTIN COURTER is a contributor to the Brooklyn Rail.
Short-shorts seems to be the common term used for works of the length of those that appear in Helen Phillipss debut collection. Each piece in And Yet They Were Happy is about half the length of this review.
Whats eating Ardennes Thrush? An award-winning actress, shes worked relentlessly to get where she is in Hollywoodand then she quits. Right when the world becomes her oyster, Ardennes clams up. She spends her time ruminating in a hotel room while her husband, a famous director, is out on location struggling to keep his most recent project on track.
In 1996, with money from his bands record deal with a major label, Johnny Temple founded Akashic Books and published The Fuck Up, a novel by Arthur Nersesian. Its been almost a decade since then, but dont think for a second Akashic has mellowed into a more genteel version of its gutsy original incarnationor forgotten the F-word.