Archive for the 'Fictionauts Recommend' Category

She’s a screw-up or a slut or a slacker, what used to be called Trouble with a capital T. She’s not a waitress or a girlfriend or a friend or someone you’d be able to take your eyes off. What we don’t know is her name, until the story is nearly told, and it is revealed by one of Mary Miller’s most delightful characters, the unlikely Norbert. (“What kind of name is Norbert?” he says. I shrug. “But if you picture a guy named Norbert he probably looks exactly like that.”)

Her name is Kate. She loves Beth (she of the permanent markered jeans, lettered with the title of the story, and a Chinese tat for luck “but so far, that’s for shit”), but she’s fucking Arthur, and fucking with Bee or Billy, or Traci or Tim, and, well, Norbert.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost” is a tale of a pretty girl who’s down on her luck but still willing to draw the next card.

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The New York Times Book Review called Maud Casey “a stand-up philosopher posing vexing questions about human existence” and praised her “dazzling narrative dare.” She is the author of two novels, The Shape of Things to Come and Genealogy, and the short story collection Drastic.

Maud has a story forthcoming in the next issue of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety and was kind enough to tell us about a favorite story on Fictionaut:

I’d like to recommend Curtis Smith‘s “In the Jukebox Light.”There’s an ease to the voice, a collective, inquisitive “we” that is often lyrical (“blissful astronaut lovers float in a sky of flashbulb stars”). A dense, palpable world is conveyed swiftly. It’s a world in which this couple’s loss is not extraordinary but is still worthy of attention. I particularly like the “or not” at the end—that uncertainty is lovely.

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Available now from Willows Wept Press, Matt Bell‘s chapbook How the Broken Lead the Blinddelivers ten inventive stories rich in language, ideas and catharsis that will leave you hungering for his next collection” (Steven McDermott.) The title story and “Her Ennead” are up on Fictionaut. To celebrate, we asked Matt to recommend a story he digs:

Let x” by Chad Simpson is short enough to fit on a bar napkin but creates a world big enough to allow for some fiercely playful language and an impressive amount of emotional depth. There aren’t enough stories that also function as true and honest apologies to the people we’ve wronged, and this is one of the best.

“Let x” originally appeared on the Esquire Books Blog.

Noria Jablonski, author of Human Oddities and recently included in Owen King and John McNally’s superhero anthology Who Can Save Us Now?, has posted stories about busloads of kidnapped children, bad perms, and sideshow mummies on Fictionaut. What does she like to read on the site?

“I’d like to recommend the weird, witchy ‘Animals, Animals, Animals‘ by Jessica Breheny,” writes Noria. “Cats speak prophecy, abandoned stuffed animals are rescued, birds lurk. Eventually the FBI gets involved. I’ve read this one a few times, and every time the language knocks my socks off all over again.”

Pittsburgh’s own Caketrain publishes gorgeous books and a journal designed to “submerge you in a birthing tank for gelatinous language monsters.” Issue 06 features work by a record number of Fictionauts, including Sara Levine, Jayne Pupek, Michael Kimball, Forrest Roth, Brian Foley, Kate Hill Cantrill, and Kim Chinquee.

We asked Caketrain publisher Joseph Reed to pick a favorite piece on Fictionaut, and he chose Lizzie Skurnick‘s poem “You Could Marry Anyone.” Keep reading…

“I’m in love with Pia Ehrhardt‘s ‘Baby Hater.’ I think it’s a perfect story because it fulfills the purpose of the best kind of fiction–it helps you to understand the drama of other people’s lives. On a personal level, ‘Baby Hater’ clarified a comment my mother made many years ago: she said she hadn’t slept well since the day I was born.”

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On the eve of the election, we asked Richard Nash, publisher of Softskull Press, to pick a favorite piece on Fictionaut. Without much hesitation, he cast his ballot for Laurel Snyder‘s poem The Poor Little: “I know it is because I’m a new father, and everything hurts and is joyful, all at once, like my […]

We asked Ami Greko, formerly of Folio Literary Management and — as of today! — Digital Marketing Manager at Macmillan, to recommend a story, and she picked Free Time by Jesse Jarnow. “The dread starts early in this story,” Ami says, “so much that I felt the desire to scream at the main character that […]

As a new feature, we’ll occasionally ask our members to recommend a favorite story on the site. Fictionaut advisor Frederick Barthelme, whose new novel Waveland is due in the spring, picked Lydia Copeland‘s Haircut, which he calls “funny and delicate, light as a feather, sharp as a razor.” Haircut originally appeared in NOÖ Journal.


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