Good Company

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.

Terrific story.

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:

And there are all these newly minted books I’m dying to read:

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