Suspend Your Disbelief

Phil Sandick


Phil Sandick’s writing has appeared in the L Magazine and the Faster Times. He received an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently a fiction editor at the Carolina Quarterly.


Shop Talk |

Get Writing: Just That I Love It

In the illuminating introduction to her Selected Stories, Alice Munro considers the recurring setting of her fiction: “The reason I write so often about the country to the east of Lake Huron is just that I love it.” She goes on to describe how memories of particular images from that geography will motivate her stories in their earliest, most daydreamy forms. For instance, Munro describes the image of “snow falling straight down” that served as the seed of a story. In its finished form, there’s no reference to that image, no trace for the reader to dwell on, but all […]

Reviews |

Amigoland, by Oscar Casares

“Now he was the one smiling. He knew they were all around the table, he could feel their eyes on him—The One With The Flat Face, The One With The Big Ones, The One With The Worried Face, The Gringo With The Ugly Finger, The One With The White Pants, The One With The Net On His Head—staring at him and waiting for his next move.” There is so much more to Don Fidencio Rosales, the ninety-one year-old protagonist of Oscar Casares’s comedic and heartening first novel, Amigoland (Little, Brown 2009), than simply his age. First and foremost, there’s his […]

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new review on FWR: Couch by Benjamin Parzybok

So you boys are on a quest. That’s good, real good. You’ve got to have quests. The world has too few quests these days. We could all get off our asses and quest about some more. — from Couch Benjamin Parzybok’s unique debut novel combines the mundane with the epic: in the process of moving an old orange couch across town, three young men embark upon a quest to save the world. Read Phil Sandick’s review of Couch here.

Reviews |

Knockemstiff, by Donald Ray Pollock

Donald Ray Pollock’s debut collection Knockemstiff begins with an epigraph from satirist Dawn Powell: “All Americans come from Ohio originally, if only briefly.” And yet, when it comes to Knockemstiff, Ohio—Pollock’s hometown and the purgatorial setting for these eighteen gritty stories—the fictional inhabitants rarely leave.