Posts Tagged: fiction

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Online Feature: “Glacier” by Jackson Blair

 

The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it.

—Wallace Stevens

My office is configured in such a way that I’m blind to coworkers who appear at my door. Each day I sit like a parked car in a cul-de-sac, my backside positioned toward visitors, a situation that forces me to discriminate between the surprisingly varied sounds they make. Thus, I’ve come to recognize knockers by their knocks, foot-draggers by the scuff of their feet, and in one case, a person by a quick intake of breath, followed by a long pause, as with a case of apnea. Read more…

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Online Feature: “Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours” by Marie-Helene Bertino

 

I am like everyone else: good at some things, bad at others. I am good at eating clementines. I am bad at drawing straight lines. I am good at drinking coffee. I would be bad at building a house. If someone asked me to build them a house, I would have to say no. Or I would say yes and worry they would not like the house I built. Why is the kitchen made of coffee filters, they’d say? Why are there no floors? And I’d say, I wish you hadn’t asked me to build you a house.

I am bad at telling stories. For example, this one is about Christmas lights and here is the first time I’m mentioning them. A person who knew how to tell a story would start with, This is a story about Christmas lights I finally got around to putting up last night and the miracle that happened afterward. You know how it is at a party when someone tells an absolute gripper that juggles different characters and lands on a memorable line and everyone holds their stomachs and looks at each other in shocked amazement, a line people repeat on car rides home so they can laugh again? I am not that person. I am the one asking the host what kind of cheese it is I’m eating.

The name of the planet I’m from does not have an English equivalent. Roughly, it sounds like a cricket hopping onto a plate of rice. I am here to take notes on human beings. I fax them back to my superiors. We have fax machines on Planet Cricket Rice. They are quaint, retro things, like vintage ice cube trays. Read more…

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Interview with Michael Martone, 2016 Blue Light Books Prize Judge

 

We are proud to have long-time IR contributor Michael Martone judge the inaugural 2016 IR/IU Press Blue Light Books Prize. While readying your short story collections, read his generous interview where he discusses his favorite short story collections, Saturn’s rings, a story’s pulse, and what he might be looking for in the winning short-story collection.

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martoneauthorpic

Photo by Janine Crawley

Michael Martone’s most recent books are Winesburg, Indiana, Four for a Quarter, Not Normal, Illinois: Peculiar Fiction from the Flyover, Racing in Place: Collages, Fragments, Postcards, Ruins, a collection of essays, and Double-wide, his collected early stories.

Martone’s stories and essays have appeared in Harper’s, Esquire, Story, North American Review, Epoch, Denver Quarterly, Iowa Review, Third Coast, Shenandoah, Bomb, and have appeared and been cited in the Pushcart Prize as well as The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Essays anthologies. He has won two Fellowships from the NEA and a grant from the Ingram Merrill Foundation.

Martone is currently a Professor at the University of Alabama where he has been teaching since 1996. He has been a faculty member of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College since 1988. He has taught at Iowa State University, Harvard University, and Syracuse University.

 

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Micro-Review: Ann Beattie’s The State We’re In

The State We’re In by Ann Beattie (Scribner 2015)

Reviewed by Anthony Correale

 

Three stories in particular constitute the emotional core of Beattie’s loosely linked story collection. Each takes as its main character seventeen-year old Jocelyn and carries forward the same narrative. They are arranged in the collection like a frame: a Jocelyn story opens the collection, another is located like a support beam in its middle, and a third closes the collection. The middle story, “Endless Rain into a Paper Cup,” is, arguably, the high-point of the collection. Read more…

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Listen to Ben Hoffman Read “The Problem of Leaving”

 

Ben Hoffman’s short story, “The Problem of Leaving,” appears in our latest issue of Indiana Review, 37.1 Summer 2015.

Listen to him read his excellent story here.

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Ben Hoffman

Ben Hoffman’s fiction appears online at American Short Fiction, Granta, Tin House, Zoetrope: All-Story, and elsewhere. He was recently the Carol Houck Smith Fellow at The Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and is now a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.