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Issue #20, 2004
Steven Millhauser, Robert Olen Butler, Elizabeth Tallent, Dan DeWeese, Zakes Mda, Ellen Litman
THE ROOM IN THE ATTIC • Whenever she met someone new - an ordeal she preferred to avoid - she insisted on the condition of absolute darkness.
SEVERANCE • Very still, I hold my rifle drawn across my chest and I am careful even in the breath I draw.
EROS 101 • There's no panic quite like the panic of having found something you'd hate to lose.
GRAPHOLOGY • I found myself, in this week since my father's death, spontaneously able to reproduce his handwriting from the tip of my own pen.
An excerpt from THE WHALE CALLER • They will use rib bones to construct the skeletons of their huts, ear bones as water-carrying vessels, other bones as furniture, pillows, and beds.
DANCERS • They were tall, good-looking, and careless. They descended upon Tanya's life, took up residence in her apartment. They were dancers and nothing could be done about it.
David Lehman, Chase Twichell, Michael Hainey, Stephen Dunn, Henry Israeli
THE PARTY OF IDEAS
SPACE IS LIMITED
ANGEL LOVE KING • To be redeemed, you had to be a sinner in the first place. The knowledge made me nauseous with self-loathing. Jesus wouldn't even like me.
Profiles & Interviews:
Anthony Swofford, Edward Hirsch, John B. Kachuba
CHRIS OFFUTT • Anthony Swofford talks to fellow writer and lawbreaker about skulls, prose-as-taxidermy, his father's secret porn-writing career, ad the subpar jail of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN OLD MAN • The writer remembers novelist and longtime New Yorker editor William Maxwell and the magnetic ten-year friendship that seemed to arrive full-bloom.
ZAKES ZDA • Mda's plays and novels are well-known in his native South Africa, but the writer is just gaining prominence in the United States. He discusses magic, the economic significance of beekeeping, and reopening the old wounds of apartheid.
Francine Prose, Jayne Anne Phillips, Susan Bell
REMEMBERING THE SPALDING GRAY • Recalling a perfect listener, inveterate storyteller, and a man for whom cocktail hour was essential to the whole concept of civilization.
DREAMS TALK • Drowned birds, comely Indian film stars, a writer waist-deep in a lake - what's dream life telling us? Jayne Anne Phillips explains.
REVISIONING THE GREAT GATSBY • Gatsby is more than great writing - it's also a tour de force of revision. A look at how Fitzgerald and his editor, Max Perkins, buffed one of American literature's most celebrated books to a high shine.
Lost & Found:
Tommy Wallach, Leslie A. Wootten, Nathan Alling Long
on EUGENE IONESCO'S STORIES NUMBER 1-4
on W.R. BURNETT'S DARK HAZARD
on W.S. MERWIN'S THE MINER'S PALE CHILDREN
THE LOTUS EATERS • Just what were Homer's lotus-eaters nibbling, and where can the author find some?
The Last Word:
PENNSYLVANIA: A NATURAL HISTORY • Fauna of Penn's Woods - they're not what you'd expect.