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short fiction short fiction

AMY LEE LILLARD Head Like a Hole

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The husband who narrates Amy Lee Lillard's story "Head Like a Hole" watches, puzzled, as a perfectly round hole grows in his backyard. The growing hole, and the wife's ongoing vigil, tell a poignant story of self, integrity, and, ultimately, connection. (20:50)

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MARSHA MCDONALD s w i m

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What is held, what holds you, in water or in air? Marsha McDonald's story "s w i m" raises and explores these questions through the story of a girl taught to swim by her uncle. Learning much more than that about her body's resilience, the narrator connects her experience to the terrors and enticements of deep water. (11:18)

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GREGORY SPATZ Hit Me

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A group of high-school boys tests each other and themselves with the game of knuckles. From the pain of knuckles, to the release of getting high, to the sweet pleasure of a Charleston Chew, these boys feel everything, and try to pretend they can choose what they let in. "Hit Me" is a story--beautifully performed by Spatz--about aggression, recklessness, and surprising weakness. (34:36)

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KATE WISEL Happy Hour

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A tattoo on a woman's body becomes the locus of a complex interaction between power and passivity in Kate Wisel's short story "Happy Hour". Within a relationship marked with bruises and broken bones, the tattoo raises questions of independence and escape. (5:30)

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KATY LASELL Fen

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A swamp is home to an imagined panther named "Fen" in Kate Lassell's eponymous story. Narrated by a precocious kid named Judith, the story follows a father and daughter fighting to preserve a threatened marsh--and working to sustain their small family after a tragic loss. (11:52)

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PHIL SHRECK MAILBOX

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A thing as ordinary as a mailbox becomes the focus of all of one man's passions in Phil Shreck's eponymous story. Russell tilts not at windmills but at his mailboxes, old and new, and at a deep-seated sense of inadequacy. Shreck reads his darkly funny story aloud in a brilliant performance. (22:56)

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