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The Drum

Issue 16. September 2011

ERIN KELLY Shhh

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The teenaged narrator of Erin Kelly's "Shhh" has decided to stop talking. It's an eloquent protest, conveying independence and resistance to her mother, affection for her younger brother, and a nuanced sensitivity to the world around her. While her brother builds tiny walls to protect the backyard ants, the narrator builds a connection that requires almost no words. (5:57)

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short fictionsmallfamilycrisis

RANDY ROSS One Day in Thailand

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Randy Ross' "One Day in Thailand" is the Finalist in the 2011 Drum/Side B Dual Publication Award. Brief, clever, and with a final twist, "One Day in Thailand" presents a comic observation on the experience of the ex-patriate in Asia. (2:39)

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smallcomedy

CARALYN DAVIS Wallow

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Caralyn Davis' short story "Wallow" is the Winner of The 2011 Drum/Side B Magazine Dual Publication Award. "Wallow" depicts an evening in the life of a sin-eater, a woman with the ability to consume and absorb the sins of the dead. Following the traditions of the ancient Egyptians, Davis' contemporary sin-eater dresses in style, makes keen social observations about her customers and clients, and contemplates the balance of good and evil. (12:34)

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short fictionsmallcomedy

JAMES MCGIRK The Tramp Steamer

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James McGirk's short story "The Tramp Steamer" presents a side of Richard M. Nixon we've never seen before. McGirk imagines the young lawyer and his new bride traveling on a tramp steamer of the United Fruit Company to celebrate their first anniversary. Seasick, angry, jealous, Nixon reveals his inelegance to his wife who yearns for more glamour and glitz. McGirk takes the facts of the Nixons' actual 1941 trip and spins out an incisive and compelling story of bitterness and dreams. (34:00)

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short fictionlargerelationships

ALLY ENGELBERG Stay

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Ally Engelberg's "Stay" finds a young man poised for departure--from his childhood home and from his childhood. As he empties his room, memories of lake-swimming pull him both back into the past and forward into the uncertain future. "Stay" appears in The Drum as part of our selection from Grub Street's Young Adult Writers' Program. (4:50)

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smallcrisisfamily

MOLLY ZIMETBAUM Balloons

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In Molly Zimetbaum's "Balloons," an older sister tells the poignant story of the birthday celebration for her little sister that seemingly goes awry. This family of three--two daughters and a weary but caring father--finds a sweet balm for disappointment. "Balloons" appears in The Drum as part of our selection from Grub Street's Young Adult Writers' Program. (5:51)

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short fictionsmallfamilycrisis

HAU NGUYEN Immigrants

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Hau Nguyen's story "Immigrants" is a young man's advice to himself on how to navigate a new life in a new world. Part reminder, part exhortation, part warning, "Immigrants" conveys the newcomer's desires for assimilation and independence, and his embrace of the new while holding onto the old. "Immigrants" appears in The Drum as part of our selection from Grub Street's Young Adult Writers' Program. (3:47)

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short fictionsmallcrisis

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theme: comedy

theme: crisis

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theme: family

genre: essay

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