Issue 2. June 2010
Loving the Momsterdownload
In his essay “Loving the Momster,” Ethan Gilsdorf recounts his childhood after his mother’s 1997 death, specifically the childhood after his mother suffered an aneurism in 1978. Gilsdorf revisits his mother’s mercurial moods and changed attitude, and his own altered childhood, through emails from a childhood friend who only knew Gilsdorf’s mother after her aneurism. Despite the fragmented nature of his mother’s life, Gilsdorf is able to find and preserve a sense of her identity.
A Halloween dinner with her estranged father and his new wife exposes tensions and fault lines in Claudia’s world. A single mother with a young son, she tries to preserve the spirit of trick or treat against her father’s wishes, until finally the stressful meal veers towards a new and alarming direction.
This Truth I'm Tellingdownload
The narrator of Lauren Grodstein’s “This Truth I’m Telling” was a bartender in the World Trade Center. At a jobs convention for workers displaced after 9/11, Martin thinks about the life and the people that he has lost. He wonders which is truer: the optimistic exhortations of the jobs speaker, or the resignation he feels.
Sea Escape, Chapter Twodownload
In the second chapter of her novel Sea Escape, Lynne Griffin writes from the point of view of Laura’s mother, Helen. It is 1951 and Helen has just watched her boyfriend, Joe, depart for Samson Air Force Base. During his absence, she finds a new independence through work, despite her father’s wishes.
In Ben Percy’s “The Neighborhood,” economic stress leads suburbanites to rather sinister acts against one family unable to keep up appearances. The Petersens become the focus of neighborhood concern, and their house becomes the target of a destructive communal activity.
At the turn of the 19th century, Albert wakes to find himself penniless and paperless, with no memory of his travels and the time he has been walking. In this excerpt from her unpublished novel, Fugueur, Maud Casey writes about a man caught in a fugue state, lost in time and place as he walks through France from town to town.
Macy Is The Other Womandownload
The narrator in Lynne Barrett’s story “Macy is the Other Woman,” is the other woman, conducting an affair with a softball teammate whose girlfriend she doesn’t want to hurt. Over a warm July 4th weekend in Washington, Macy comes to terms with the affair, pondering the complicated entanglements of infidelity and friendship.
Our Little Berthadownload
Michelle Hoover’s essay “Our Litter Bertha” recounts her discovery of her great-grandmother's journal, the document which she later used to inspire her novel, The Quickening. Hoover ponders the stories of her Midwestern family found in diaries and letters. She contemplates her upbringing and the consequences of her relocation from Iowa to Boston. The essay is a vivid study of the connection between identity and place.
Lynne Griffin reads from the first chapter of her novel Sea Escape. After working a 12 hour nursing shift, Laura takes her two young children to visit her mother on her 77th birthday. But while she prepares to bake a cake for the occasion, Laura receives a phone call that could alter the course of her life, of her mother’s life, and of their rocky relationship.