Monthly Archives: February 2014

Chicken Shit Pistol

Sure, I’d always wanted a sister, but not this one. I was reading about Great Blue whales, trying to focus, but all I could think about was it would be inconvenient to kill her. Murder was out. I was pretty sure it would screw my chances of getting into college.

The Big Chair

Joanne stood by her car in the parking lot of Blue Hills Nursing Home and filled her lungs with cold October air.She’d spent the last hour sweet-talking her mother into eating tiny spoonfuls of mashed potatoes and gravy, waxy green beans, and stringy chicken. She took another deep breath and…

The Creek

My brother barefoot in its grey thread, in his hands the small fish hooked out, fluttering like a loose paint chip. A jar of crawdads to carry home sat on the bank. We’d watch them for a day until the tiny albino shapes would hang shiftless in the water like…

Winter 2014 Editor’s Note

Nine years ago, my paternal grandmother was in the final weeks of her life. I joined my family in keeping vigil back in southeastern Kentucky as often as I could, making the eight-hour drive down Interstate 81 or flying to nearby Knoxville, Tennessee, from my then home in Washington, D.C.…

Translation

for Loyal Jones So I came out of my rainy bower covered with white petals dropped from a tree. My people long ago whose milky eyes I still can see would have said I had a God’s plenty of petals on me, an expression I liked to hear as a…

The Road from Gap Creek (Morgan)

Robert Morgan. The Road from Gap Creek. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books, 2013. 318 pages. Hardback with dust jacket, $25.95. Robert Morgan’s best-selling novel Gap Creek (1999) ends as Julie and Hank Richards cross the North Carolina state line, returning to Green River after surviving flood, fire, and their first…

Guests on Earth (Smith)

Lee Smith. Guests on Earth: A Novel. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books, 2013. 368 pages. Hardback with dust jacket. $25.95. At the beginning of this resonant and highly atmospheric novel, the narrator introduces herself as a small, bookish woman who lives in a half-basement apartment in the French Quarter, a…
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