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Issue #36, 2008
What remains? What matters? What endures? These are some of the themes that run through the summer reading issue. Three authors are remembered and reconsidered—Gerald Howard looks at the checkered, brutally vivid work of Leonard Michaels, whose works are currently being reissued by FSG; Elizabeth Benedict casts a softer light on the often harshly viewed Elizabeth Hardwick, novelist, public intellectual, founder of the New York Review of Books, and ex-wife of Robert Lowell; while Douglas Bauer fondly recalls the indomitable spirit and curiosity of M.F.K. Fisher. The aftermath of Katrina is the backdrop for Adam Johnson's fictional search for lasting love in "Hurricanes Anonymous" and in Allan Gurganus's "Fetch," an off-season walk on the beach turns life-threatening, stripping the lives of a privileged couple to the core; while Frank Bidart, Mary Jo Bang, and Eileen Myles take poetic turns at capturing the ineffable.
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Allan Gurganus, Alice Fulton, Ehud Havazelet, Adam Johnson, Helen Schulman, Keith Lee Morris
FETCH • Something is thrown. Wr retrieve it without quite knowing why.
A SHADOW TABLE • That's how I came to be a waitress. I wanted to serve food. And I wanted to serve Ray.
BILL AND ARLENE • They were happy and in love and saw no reason to believe a good life didn't stretch out before them. Then Bill noticed an ad toward the back of the Sunday travel section.
HURRICANES ANONYMOUS • The boarded-up Outback Steakhouse next door is swamped with FEMA campers, and a darkened AMC 16 is a Lollapalooza of urban camping.
PARENTS' NIGHT • We were at a cocktail party for incoming parents at our daughter's school when I spied my ex-husban amid a sea of ophthalmologic surgeons and hedge fund guys.
An Excerpt from the Novel THE DART LEAGUE KING • Liza Hatter had a thing for him, Tristan happened to know, in the same way he almost always knew... when it came to love or sex or however you wanted to refer to it.
Mary Jo Bang, Frank Bidart, Thomas James, Beth Bachmann, Eileen Myles, Oliver de la Paz
THE MAGIC THAT MAKES EVERYTHING RIGHT
CONSIDER THIS CORRUPTION
SECOND MYSTERY OF MY SISTER
Marissa Perry—Fiction, Paul Feldman—Fiction, Bridget Talone—Poetry
TRESPASSING • Cindy Ferris spun the bottle on her bedroom floor and kissed us one by one. It was just a peck. It was only practice.
SPECIALISTS • The lunar transport is not trimmed up with the latest sensors and the auto controls are a bit blunt, so it's a tricky beast.
GIVEN DISTANCE, I MIGHT SEE HIS DYING
Essays & Features:
Garald Howard, Elizabeth Benedict, Chris Adrian
THE CRAZY SPASMODIC • Wherein we learn how author Leonard Michaels was crowned the once and future king of literary badass-ness. And wherein we learn how sex, violence, and Yiddish make strange bedfellows.
WHY NOT SAY WHAT HAPPENED? • Elizabeth Hardwick's bullying presence belied the sensitivity of her writing voice, but it helped her storm the gates of the good old boys' club of American letters.
A GOOD CREATURE • The writer loses a lover to a retriever because of a Levitical fear of uncleanliness, and is doomed to a dogged and desperate search for a home in creation.
Lost & Found:
Jesse Nathan, Cheston Knapp, Aaron Hamburger, Edward Schwarzschild, CJ Evans
ON J.P. JACOBSEN'S Mogens and Other Stories
ON The Journal of Jules Renard
ON J.S. MARCUS'S The Captain's Fire
ON PHILIP ROTH'S Letting Go
ON THOMAS JAMES'S Letters to a Stranger
WHAT WE HUNGER FOR • Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher lived to eat. For her, food opened the doors to the deeper meanings of life...