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Search Results: miriam poli

Interviews |

Writing as Bricklaying: An Interview with Miriam Polli

Most writers are encouraged by late-in-life publication stories. We’re heartened by the fact that Carol Shields was fifty-eight when she published her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Stone Diaries; that Frank McCourt was sixty-four when Angela’s Ashes came out; and that Belva Plain published her first novel when she was a sixty-three-year-old widow. Even better, Plain then proceeded to publish twenty-one novels that made the New York Times…


Reviews |

The Flying Troutmans, by Miriam Toews

The tension of Miriam Toews’ latest novel, The Flying Troutmans (Oct. 2008, Counterpoint), can be summed up by a single question: “What do you think the chances are of everything being OK?” A strung-out young stranger says these words to Hattie Troutman, the narrator of this dark, zany road-trip novel. Twenty-eight-year-old Hattie must answer this question numerous times on a quest to find her brother-in-law, Cherkis, that takes her from…


Reviews |

All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews

When Elfrieda Von Riesen was a teenaged misfit growing up in the tiny Mennonite community of East Village, Manitoba, she came upon a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that seemed as though it had been written expressly for her: I too a sister had, an only sister She loved me dearly, and I doted on her! To her I poured forth all my puny sorrows. And that’s exactly what Elfrieda has done. Her sister Yolandi, six years her junior, and the…


Interviews |

The Trickster Answers So Many Questions: An Interview with Rosalie Morales Kearns

Rosalie Morales Kearns’ first book of stories, Virgins and Tricksters (Aqueous Books, 2012), begins with a perfect narrative hook: somewhere down the line gentle Elihu Wingate will try to throw one of his colleagues off a cliff. The reason? Read on. But before we ever get to that scuffle, a gaggle of Virgin Mary statues settle into Elihu’s home and eventually present him with a list of requests for their proper worship. Throughout Kearns’…


Reviews |

Dysfunction by Annam Manthiram

“Marriage imprisoned the mind,” muses a character in Annam Manthiram’s short story collection Dysfunction. For most of Manthiram’s characters, marriage is a condition of shared chronic misery. Obsessed with marriage or relationships, the unattached aren’t any happier—a college student stalks her ex-boyfriend; a middle-aged woman endures forty-plus bride-viewings (visits from potential grooms to decide whether she’s acceptable), and never gets…


Interviews |

An Interview with James Magruder

James Magruder was one of the first people I met when I moved to Baltimore in 2008–it was at a writerly gathering at a pizza joint in Station North. He is whip smart, like award-winning-translations-of-French-comedies smart. It’s a quality that might be dangerous in someone capable of arrogance, but Jim is as kind and self-deprecating as he is bright. Even while he’s devoting himself to his husband, Steve, and to his MFA students and…


Contributors |

Gabriel Urza

…Gabriel Urza is the author of All That Followed, a novel about a politically-charged act of violence that echoes through a small Spanish town. He received his MFA from the Ohio State University. He is currently a Miriam Shearing Fellow at the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Portland State University.  …


Shop Talk |

Book of the Week: The Flight of Gemma Hardy, by Margot Livesey

This week’s feature is Margot Livesey’s new novel, The Flight of Gemma Hardy, which was published last week by HarperCollins. Livesey is the author of six previous novels: Homework (1990), Criminals (1996), The Missing World (2000), Eva Moves the Furniture (2001), Banishing Verona (2004), and The House on Fortune Street (2008). Her first book, Learning by Heart, was a collection of short fiction published by Penguin in 1986. Her…


Interviews |

Writing to Please Myself: An Interview with Kim Magowan

I met Kim Magowan in late 2014 after we both entered the Sixfold fiction contest. If you don’t know it, it’s a contest in which the winners are selected by the writers who have entered in their work. Stories are submitted anonymously, and voting takes place over three rounds, each writer randomly assigned six stories per round. Kim was assigned my story during one of those rounds. She was one of the few readers who left me detailed feedback,…


Shop Talk |

recommended reading: two short stories

I teach in Connecticut on Wednesdays, so it’s the perfect excuse to shirk blogging duties and link to two of the best stories I’ve read this year: 1. “Nine” by Aryn Kyle, from the Atlantic‘s 2008 Fiction Issue. If it strikes your fancy, read Kyle’s debut novel, The God of Animals, now available in paperback and reviewed here on FWR. 2. “Face” by Alice Munro, from the September 8 New Yorker. What a…




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