>I’m hopelessly–no, seriously, I mean hopelessly–behind in my reading. Of all things. News magazines, catalogs, literary journals, books, tea leaves. I’ll never, ever catch up and there’s no sense pretending I will. I am going to try to buy fewer books, but I’m making no promises.
In the meantime, maybe I could get back to reading and writing about literary magazines for a while and at least reduce that pile. (Yes, the unread piles are organized: lit magazines here, novels there, etc. It helps persuade myself that there is order.)
First up, as I promised some time ago, is The Kenyon Review. Not the most recent issue, not even the last issue, but the one before that (XXVII:4). And that’s entirely thanks to Roy Kesey, whose story “Wait” is in that issue. That story also happens to be in his book All Over, forthcoming from Dzanc Books, and will also be in the next Best American Short Stories. And Roy is a friend. (Check out this interview with Roy at Sue Henderson’s LitPark–actually it’s Roy’s interview with his daughter Chloe.) So I couldn’t let the issue slip by without a mention.
It’s a crazy story. If there’s something in the back of your head telling you that TKR is a stuffy magazine, forget it. “Wait” is about a bunch of people, including a Canadian accountant, a beautiful woman from Ghana, and a Mongolian boy, all in an airport lounge waiting for their flight which is delayed by fog. With the journal and the book and the anthology, you’re going to have plenty of opportunities to read this particular story so I think I’ll leave it at that. I had no idea where it was going, but I loved where it went.
Also in this issue we have “California,” an excerpt from Erin McGraw’s forthcoming novel Ain’t We Got Fun. I had the pleasure of hearing Erin read from this excerpt last summer at the Sewanee Writers Conference. It looks like it will be a fine book.
Finally, in addition to some nice poetry and another story and a play (TKR is unusual among lit magazines in that it publishes drama) and some reviews, there is a fun story by Andrea Siegel, “Open House,” which also wouldn’t be in a stuffy magazine. Here we have Sascha who accidentally discovers real estate ads in the Sunday LA Times and embarks on visits to open houses as a way to fill her boring Sundays. She goes on one of these visits and this one is a little different from the others:
“The sight of the shoe and the pair of scissors in plain sight produced in Sascha the jumpy apprehension that she had walked into the wrong house. Maybe she had turned off the main road too soon or maybe there was another house on this street that she’d missed. ‘Oh man, I’m standing in the living room of someone’s real house,’ she panicked. A real house was one still in operation. Standing in it was akin to being one moral step away from a robber. Sascha fel like the police were on their way.
She was backing toward the front door when a guy wearing only a towel appeared at the top of the stairs.”
And then things get complicated.
TKR also runs a blog these days that is filled with more information than you’ll be able to process.
Next up: roger