Remember when you were a fan of just about everything? “Please don’t scream in the car!” your dad would shout when you became overexcited by a dog we had just driven past, or a convertible with its top up. “You’re going to give me a heart attack!” As early as the first grade, you had already accessed your stores of obsessive energy. You could not be contained.
In Israel and Gaza, there are sounds that tell you when someone is trying to kill you. In Israel, a high-pitched siren signals an incoming missile and sends everyone to the nearest cover—either a public shelter, or the basement of your apartment, or your stairwell, or, if you’re on the highway, huddled between your car and the concrete divider, the best of bad circumstances.
* fiction by Courtney Sender, excerpted from MQR 53:2, Spring 2014 * Look, the truth of the way of the world is that David loves Moira enough to move to the middle of Nothing, England, for her, and Moira doesn’t love David enough to pick up the goddamned phone.
At the time, I was only dimly aware of the work that house members, reproductive rights activists, and other civic minded people were doing to call attention to, and prevent the passage of, this bill. That night I was to be thrown into the thick of it.
Like many great works of modernist literature, these texts were new, self-conscious, and critical, though the Persian works seem to be darker and more scathing. Yet what is most unusual about these books is that they were mainly written and published in other countries. In other words, key foundational works of modern Iranian literature was born elsewhere.