Properly Introduced: “Train Juju”

Iowa Review 47 1

“Train Juju” by Iheoma Nwachukwu in The Iowa Review 47/1 “Presently, he reassembled his family. It made Corporal Nwafanim happy. His three sons, aged five, seven, and eight, returned as he had wished. More importantly, his wife came, too. Where before, when he got off work, he had sat in harsh silence in the scratched armchair, closing his eyes to relive the firm weight of his mother’s breast in his mouth at age seven, or, at other times, slowly pitching back and forth in the seat as he watched the jerk of the clay lamp’s flame on the bare table, now there were the squabbling cries of his little boys to sweeten his evenings.”

Properly Introduced: “Sea Girls”

Tin House Volume 18 Number 4

“Sea Girls” by Daniel Wallace in Tin House: Volume 18, Number 4 “I met her on the beach, standing beside the body of a mermaid that had washed ashore. We had learned about these creatures in history class, how the surf would occasionally carry one in, tangled in string and seaweed, barely breathing, sickened by the great sink of dishwater we called the ocean. Everything, at one time or another, seemed to end up on a beach—but even so I’d never known of anyone who saw an actual mermaid.”

Properly Introduced: “Steps”

McSweeneys 47

“Steps” by Mona Simpson in McSweeney’s 47 “I didn’t believe in forgiveness, particularly. This all began when I decided to de-clutter my in-box. De-clutter is a compound word that makes Harry say ‘middle-age.’ He jokes about having a lover who wears a dental splint. He’s teasing, but he probably minds my age. I would. I do. But I’m an actress. If I didn’t mind, I’d be a moron. I was deleting, deleting, deleting when I came to yet another message from an unknown sender. Dirk Vanderhoff turned out to be my agent’s secretary’s secretary. Apparently, my agent’s secretary, the young woman who always remained on the line when Solange called, had been fielding messages, and after three from the same… Read More →

Properly Introduced: “Bang!”

Iowa Review

“Bang!” by Sarah Coates in The Iowa Review “Bombs happen. Lots of then. Most places in the world are made of fire. It’s sad, but also everyone kind of wanted it to happen. Just like they really wanted the Cold War to come to some sort of conclusion. People like conclusions. And so Tom made his leap of faith.”

Properly Introduced: “The Tomb of Wrestling”

Tin House Volume 18, Number 2

“The Tomb of Wrestling” by Jo Ann Beard in Tin House “She struck her attacker in the head with a shovel, a small one that she normally kept in the trunk of her car for moving things off the highway. There was a certain time of year in upstate New York when the turtles left their reedy ponds to crawl ponderously through the countryside, and wound up strewn like pottery shards across the road. The box turtles Joan could pick up with her hands; this was the shovel she had purchased to move the snappers to the ditches. Luckily, she had taken it from her trunk in order to straighten out her compost situation.”