Recently, I talked with Afsheen Farhadi, whose hilariously dark “Green” can be found in our Fall 2014 issue (an excerpt can be found here as well). Here, he reveals his own writing process, some of his favorite recent books, and even teases who he might cast if “Green” were to be made into a movie. Afsheen has also recently completed a new novel, “Voices of Oblivion.”
“Teeth are practically the gateway to the soul,” says Natalie Carson, one of the two thieves who stole dentures for the sake of their artwork. Much of what makes “This Precarious Hive: Denture House at MOMA” such a fantastically disturbing story is Shena McAuliffe’s ability to connect the living and the dead through something as familiar and abject as our own teeth.
“Denture Shop Window”
Eric Parker, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Jessica Afshar’s “The Lake” is startling with its series of absences: a drowning child, a distraught mother, a missing father, and a Dive Rescue Specialist on an absurd search of his own. The sentences are often abrupt and startling, but asks readers to consider the connections between death and survival.
“Ullswater – Lake District” Emma Barr, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Christine Hamm’s “answers” raise more questions than answers. Who is she talking to? What is being asked? Why are the thumbs sewn together? Still, it leaves you asking questions about our own connections. The language is blunt and even a little curt, but with a tinge of desperation for any sort of meaning in our lives.
Rudolf Vicek, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The best humor often comes from horrifying ironies. In Lauren Foss Goodman’s “Frank and the Shark,” Frank is not just an old man who doesn’t understand cell phones, as that would be too easy. Instead, she intertwines Frank’s fate with the shark – two solitary creatures on display, stranded, left to their own devices, and just barely hanging on to their remaining connections.
Albuquerque Biopark, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
We’re proud to announce what we think is another fabulous issue.
Here’s what co-editor Valerie Vogrin writes in her editor’s note:
I am in love with this issue. Probably, it is the case that my ardor is of a similar magnitude to the affection I’ve felt for all of the issues I’ve co-edited, and that the beautiful thing in front of me seems most beautiful simply because it is in front of me.
It is possible, of course, that a special radiance emanates from this issue due to the fortuitous/ purposeful assembly of these particular pieces. But again, I suspect that this must always be the case. It’s the magic of the issue—a literary sum greater than its parts. If this issue does possess a distinctive radiance, then it must be said that it is an oxymoronic radiance—that is, the radiance of moonlight illuminating a gravestone, a flashlight beam splashing over a cave wall.
We are so fortunate to be able to publish so much very fine work. Unfortunately, the wonderfulness of our contributors makes this annual task of narrowing our favorites down to a group of only six pieces pretty darn excruciating.
Though our announcement is nearly two weeks too late we wanted to be sure to share the good news:
From our Spring 2014 issue, we nominated “Scooter” (short story, Jeremy Griffin), “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This” (short story, Liza Wieland), “A Story about the Heart” (poem, Andrea Hollander), “Seven Miles Deep” (poem, Pamela Garvey), and “Postcards from Catatonia” (poem, Michelle Boisseau).
From our Fall 2014 issue, forthcoming in mid-December, we nominated “Green” (short story, Afsheen Farhadi).