A new short story in “The Yale Review”

The Yale Review, spring 2021

A new short story of mine, “Massachusetts,” is published in the spring 2021 issue of The Yale Review. The story is about how a group of children are shaped by two teachers whose styles of being are incommensurate. It’s a tiny bit allegorical, but realist enough that you might not notice.

If you’d like to read it, you can get just the spring 2021 issue of The Yale Review for $15, or you can get a year’s subscription (four issues) for $44, along with a coupon for 50% off some of Yale University Press’s books.

“The Remainder,” in print

Thrilled to see “The Remainder,” a new short story of mine, in the latest issue of the literary journal n+1. I’m a subscriber, and it arrived in the mail yesterday. Please check it out!

The story is a retelling of Yasunari Kawabata’s novel Snow Country, but gay, and at the end of the world. For the record, I wrote it about a year ago, and had no idea, while writing it, that respiratory pandemics would become a part of the background of daily life so soon.

New story

If you subscribe before midnight Sunday night, you’ll be in time to receive the next issue of the literary journal n+1, which has a new story by me. The name of the story is “The Remainder.” The name of the issue is “Death Wish,” which is also the 20% off discount code: DEATHWISH. It’s a good story. Subscribe now!

Harvest

{An issue of my newsletter, Leaflet}

I wrote a short story about what it feels like to have once been able to fly, which The Altantic has published online; the title is “Trajectory.” As a sidebar, the magazine has also posted a short interview with me about the story. I feel like it’s a good story; I hope you’ll check it out. It happens to be the most recent piece of fiction I’ve written—from just slightly before we entered the end-times. (The photos and air quality numbers coming out of California the last couple of days are kind of freaking me out.)

I also wrote an essay for the website Public Books about a best-selling comic novel from 1919 about social climbing, written when its author was nine years old. This one I wrote way before the end-times—almost a year ago—so it’s almost unbearably lighthearted, sorry. Here’s the original dust jacket of the comic novel, somewhat artificially freshened up by photo editing software:

Daisy Ashford's "The Young Visiters"

In other news . . .

I dreamed recently that Keanu put on a sky blue textured rubber body suit that blocked out local noise and allowed him to hear the distant signal and learn that Trump had sold us to aliens for meat and they are coming for their harvest.

“He was a guy who talked with commas, like a heavy novel.” —Raymond Chandler, The Long Good-Bye

If you haven’t been reading Peter’s ongoing autobiography, told in year-by-year Instagram selfies, you should. Start here.

Write through the disenchantment, reads advice to myself that I have not been able to follow. More useful, in the same notebook: It’s hard to mourn while one is still being traumatized.

“Watch yourself. Every first-rate journalist has just one ambition—to become a second-rate author.” —Egon Kisch, quoted in Antonín Liehm’s Politics of Culture

There’s a new evolution in podcasting that I like: Two of my friends were recently interviewed in depth about their lives: poet and doctor Laura Kolbe, interviewed by Jordan Kisner in Thresholds, and teacher, activist, and birder David Robinson, interviewed by Sam Sebastian in How Are You Doing, Really?

“Writers need to hide in bourgeois life like ticks need to hide in an animal’s fur: the deeper they’re buried the better.” —Rachel Cusk, Outline

It’s fall migration season here in Brooklyn, and I’ve posted photos of Northern parulas, red-eyed and warbling vireos, and American redstarts on my blog. Also, on a hike upstate last weekend, I got a photo of a great blue heron shaking itself dry like a dog.

“To forget the past so easily seems scarcely loyal to oneself.” —W. N. P. Barbellion, Journal of a Disappointed Man

Here’s a photograph that I seem to take at the end of every summer: