Posts Tagged: fiction

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Fiction Feature: When My Father Was in Prison by Hadley Moore

When My Father Was in Prison

 

We had this bird called Smokey that my brother taught to say Nevermore,  but he (Smokey) couldn’t ever really do it since he was the wrong kind of bird. Not a talker, my mother said.

There was a girl across the street whose father was a government functionary. My brother made me repeat the words to get the sounds right and when I asked what that was, he said it was almost the same thing as being in prison, except her father slept at home.

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Fiction Feature: “The Stray Curse” by Karen Heuler

This is the kind of thing that happens all the time, though not to everyone and not everywhere.

Gina had long brown hair and brown eyes and smooth skin and a mother she didn’t see every day; she was grown and had her own world and that was the way it should be; Gina’s mother had left her mother, who had left her mother, a long string of mothers being left and knowing they had done it in turn, and turn again.

But all of a sudden Gina felt a strange tug at her back. It began with an itch, then a bruise, then a feeling like there was a hook in her spine. She turned around to see what it was, and as soon as she turned the pain went away. But when she shrugged and turned again, it came back fierce and strong. She couldn’t move forward; it hurt her back; she turned around and took a step then a hurried step. She was sure it was her mother pulling her home.

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Online Feature: “Leaving Pyongyang” by Bora Lee Reed

This is what I remember:

 

A man was at the river, ferrying people across.

“Pali wah! Pali! Hurry!”

The line of people snaked alongside the bank, matching itself against the curve of the river. Those near the front jostled for the best spot. Those behind hunched over against the cold, bundles and bags hanging off of them like ungainly appendages. Ropes of black smoke rose up from Pyongyang’s low-slung skyline and billowed across the winter sky, obscuring the foothills.

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Online Feature: “Conversation with Thorax” by Alissa Nutting

It began as a blind date. I nearly didn’t approach the table when I saw him sitting alone at the table we’d agreed on—the one on the left wall next to the bathrooms. I always insist upon this table for blind dates in case I need to cut the night short by feigning diarrhea.

He was a pale and prominently jointed man, each of his bones exaggerated by thinness. As we chatted, I stared at the huge knuckles on his fingers—they made me think of doorknobs positioned in the middle of long, white socks. He moved them constantly, every digit on his hand, working them across the table’s surface as though he were typing. They were industrious. He made neat, geometric piles of the crumbs left by his soda crackers. Small bits of napkin were grouped to look like a hill of salt.

He was an entomologist. He studied bugs.

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Online Feature: “The Parable of the Fish” by Marilyn Chin

The IU Arts & Humanities Council will host writer Marilyn Chin next week for China Remixed, IU’s first Global Arts & Humanities Festival.

Indiana Review is proud to share a story she originally published with us in Indiana Review 24.1, Spring 2002.

The delightful music paired with the matter-of-factness of the Grandmother explaining the history of oppression, takes us through a deep personal history. We land on the preparation of a delicious carp deftly, with a gut punch at the end of “The Parable of the Fish,” with a mastery of exactitude present in all of Marilyn Chin’s work.

 — Su Cho, Editor

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Grandmother, how do you know that the fish are happy? Irreverent polyp-of-a-child, how do you know that I don’t know that the fish are happy? Well, grandma, you’re not a fish. You cannot know what fish know. Well, my ignorant gnat-of-a-girl, you are not I, how do you know that I don’t know what fish know.

One day she fetched me from school and said, “Let’s take a stroll through our honorable mayor Willie Brown’s mansion. The Gold Mountain News said that he wants all of his citizens to visit his new Japanese water garden.” So we took the #25 bus and transferred to a #85 bus at the Montgomery station where she bought me a cold can of Coke from a machine. I knew that it was going to be a special day.
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