I’m not sure why I got a print copy of Crazyhorse in the mail. It was a wonderful surprise in the middle of an otherwise ordinary workweek. I checked back to see whether I’d entered a contest (I rarely do enter contests, though I’ve heard it’s a good thing to do), but I hadn’t. I haven’t even submitted to them in the past few years. You can take a look at their e-book sample on the website and get your subscription online if you’re not somehow magically chosen to be the recipient of a stray print issue (like me).
Anyway, I now have the spring 2012 issue of Crazyhorse (number 81). In it is Emily Doak’s “Hatchlings,” the title story of her not-yet-published collection (which was a finalist for the 2011 Black Lawrence Press Hudson Prize). It’s a definite standout in the issue, with its point of view all over the place and strange narrative we at the center of the story. There’s a pretty compelling kidnapping and all, but one of the real strengths of the story is that we watch the whole thing go down over a period of about two decades.
This we is especially captivating because they are stand ins for both the voyeuristic reader and the frightened small-town captive. As the story unfolds before them, we insinuates themselves into a story that is not theirs, dehumanizing trauma and building an even higher wall around their already insular small-town lives. Frightened not of the possible kidnapper, but instead of their own inability to scale that wall, we lives in a kind of willful state of suspended adolescence – a time when it’s far safer to dream of being captured and whisked away in a box than to pack up and leave like an adult.
And now, for your reading pleasure, here are a few authors I love and admire who have been throwing down all over the country in the past few months:
- Nick Couright’s book Punchline is getting all kinds of good press
- Flavorwire has named Amelia Gray’s Threats one of its 10 best books of the year
- Erin Pringle-Toungate has about a hundred new stories either just out or forthcoming
- Rene Perez is on a BOOK TOUR for Along These Highways
- Michael Wolfe has this interview with Edmund White in the LA Times
- Sarah Faulkner was shortlisted for the Scott Prize
- David Meischen’s story “A Man In The House” in Printer’s Devil Review
- Debra Monroe in Guernica: Gray Area
- Swift, Brutal Retaliation by Meghan McCarron at Tor.com
- Dagoberto Gilb’s Before the End, After the Beginning
- Owen Egerton’s Book of Herald trailer contains the line: ”I might have to teach a Rhet Comp class.”