Suspend Your Disbelief

Liana Imam


Liana Imam holds a degree in English with a Subconcentration in Creative Writing from theUniversity of Michigan. Her short fiction has been published in Flyway and also anthologized in The Harvard Bookstore’s short-short story collectionMicrochondria. She works for The Collagist, where she serves as a blog editor.


Reviews |

What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, by Laura van den Berg

“I imagine the seasonally unspecified stories in Laura van den Berg’s What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us must be set in spring because spring is a time that makes me feel young, young as girls and in as much danger. And then there’s always this odd moment of realization that I am young and a girl and in some dangers. I’m still in too-close contact with boys I once loved, still prone to crying in public, still not aware of the dynamic personal lives of adults. Spring in the Midwest is about babies and hope and vitality, but it’s also about knowing that eventually a late frost is going to swing in out of no place and kill everything you haven’t collected in the shed. And I wanted the people in these stories locked up safe.”

Reviews |

Livability by Jon Raymond, and Wendy and Lucy

I saw Wendy and Lucy this past April, and there wasn’t any sound for the first ten minutes. Well, not no sound; there were the suggestions of breathing, some ambient rustling. The whispers filling the theater were mainly curious—could this be some new super-indie technique, perfected by director Kelly Reichardt for her second film? It turned out to be a technical mistake, and I found out what I missed when I read Jon Raymond’s “Train Choir,” the closing piece in his first collection, Livability, and the story on which Reichardt’s film is based.

Essays |

How It Feels to Get There: Reading Deborah Eisenberg's Twilight of the Superheroes with Charles Baxter's The Art of Subtext

Quite early on in The Art of Subtext, Charles Baxter gives a tongue-in-cheek suggestion for a compelling story: “give the character exactly what s/he wants, and see what happens.” In Eisenberg’s stories, having what one wants is an unexpectedly fraught condition.