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“The Underground Bird Sanctuary,” by Kuzhali Manickavel

Kumar’s bones were pushing up under his skin like silent hills. His ribs rippled up in hardened waves while his shoulders and wrists stood out in knotted clumps. In the afternoons, I would count Kumar’s bones while he tried to sleep.

“You’re counting the same one twice,” he would mumble without opening his eyes.

“Well it’s poking up in two places. A lot of them are.”

MQR contributor Jaimy Gordon wins National Book Award

Jaimy Gordon, who to her surprise just won the National Book Award for her novel Lord of Misrule, called me up the week before the award ceremony, when she was still just a nominee. She’s published a couple pieces in MQR, so I was happy to hear from her—and pleased to discover the reason for her call.

Summer 2010 Cover

MQR 49:3 | Summer 2010

The Summer Reading issue … Heads out to India, the American West, the wilds of Minnesota, and the wilderness of a librarian’s heart in its fiction pages … While Megan Dreisbach reports on an autopsy, Christine Murphy on jury duty in New Orleans, Herbert Gold on his youthful misadventures, Frank Meola on Thoreau in New York … and Aisha Sloan on her hardworking father creating his dream house out of a unheated shell of rotting timber and leaking pipes … And poetry is provided by Evan Glasson, Eric Lee, Donald Platt, Chad Davidson, and Lilah Hegnauer.

Marshall_fig_1, Marshall_fig_2, Illustration by Megan Eckman

“In Which a Coffin Is a Bed But An Ox Is Not a Coffin,” by Brenda K. Marshall

fiction by Brenda K. Marshall

The winter of 1881 found Frances Bingham reluctantly arrang­ing for her move from the spacious comfort of her father­-in­-law’s bonanza farm on the Dakota prairie to her almost­ com­pleted new home six miles away in Fargo. The arrangement that had suited both Percy and Frances since she had joined him in Dakota three years earlier—in which Percy insisted that he would soon leave his job as a newspaperman for the Fargo Argus to make a new start back east, and Frances, in turn, rea­soned that it made no sense for her and their son, Houghton, to move to Percy’s two rooms above the Argus in the meantime—had come to an end with Percy’s newfound respectability as Fargo’s delegate to the upcoming Fifteenth General Assembly of Dakota Territory. A man with a promising political career, Percy now insisted, must have his own home in Fargo, and his wife must live in that home with him, and not with his sister and father-­in­-law nearby.