Suspend Your Disbelief

Leah Falk


Leah Falk is from the great city of Pittsburgh. Her poems have appeared in Black Warrior Review, The Journal, Crab Orchard Review, and other journals. She’s a regular contributor to the book review at Pleiades, and has also written for Haaretz and Boston Review. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan, where her essay about fictional re-writings of the life of Anne Frank won a Hopwood Award. In other lives she’s been a bookseller and an elementary school science teacher. Most recently kept up all night reading David Grossman’s To the End of the Land, Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? and Bonnie Jo Campbell’s Once Upon a River.


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Stories We Love: "The Caretaker," by Anthony Doerr

“For his first thirty-five years, Joseph Saleeby’s mother makes his bed and each of his meals; each morning she makes him read a column of the English dictionary, selected at random, before he is allowed to set foot outside.” Year thirty-five of Joseph’s life is a landmark because his mother disappears on her way to market—their country, Liberia, has been at war for five years—and never returns. After this, of course, she stops making his bed and his meals. Anthony Doerr is given to what we might call the extended-play short story: instead of hours or days, years go by. “The […]

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Do the National Book Foundation's new procedures for choosing finalists crowd out small-press writers?

This week, the National Book Foundation revised the procedures for choosing National Book Award winners. Previously, lists of five finalists were announced in the weeks leading up to the awards. The new template involves “long-listing” ten finalists in each category, to create more buzz about the possible winners, NBF representatives say. The pool of judges will also expand to include critics and booksellers. Does this sound familiar? It should. The NBF has borrowed ideas from the Booker Prize as well as the Oscars. Initially, Morgan Entrekin, the vice president of the NBF board and Grove/ Atlantic Press CEO, caused a […]

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