This Sunday, September 11, the Kerrytown Bookfest will be taking place at the Farmer’s Market in Ann Arbor. We’ll be at Table 20–stop by for free back issues of the journal plus our best subscription deal of the year.
Susan Choi stirs the waters in the 2016 Hopwood Lecture, Pearl Abraham surprises with unexpected connections between political and private wrongdoing, Natalie Bakopoulos sorts through the tangled relationship at the heart of Elena Ferrante’s four Neapolitan novels.
Fiction from Mark Brazaitis, Cynthia Dockrell, Beth Kissileff, Barbara Krasner, Matthew Lansburgh, Monica McFawn, and Elizabeth Poliner.
Poetry from Natalia Romero (translated by Seth Michelson) and Felicia Zamora.
The day that they stole her tiger’s-eye ring
was the day that she became a tiger.
She was inspired by advice received from Rilke
who recommended that, if the business of drinking
should become too bitter,
that one should change oneself into wine.
In college I had a writing teacher who said, “If you’re ever writing about a childhood memory and you think your mother was wearing a blue dress, but you’re not sure if your mother was wearing a blue dress, then don’t write that.” And it’s great advice, but it sent me into this whole tailspin about what it means about myself if I imagined her wearing that. What else would be inaccurate? Did it mean the whole memory was fake? So, I became very interested in family stories as a place where narrative, and the facts, are constantly in contention. It’s a sphere where there is no proof, no objective truth of any matter, and I think that among all people who share large parts of their lives — families, couples who’ve been together for a while — this argument is very common.
Needless to say, her signature dishes were delicious. Yet it became strange and almost uncomfortable to see her bent over the stove, night after night, in a way that it never was in the past when I’d seen her, bent over the stove, night after night. One dinner, she stood in the kitchen for what seemed like hours, searing small batches of sweet and salty bulgogi beef. I wanted to tell her to sit down, to relax, but instead, I just ate everything she put in front of me.