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The Baptism of Sister Arlene Anderson

By Marilyn Abildskov Short Story

BETWEEN SLEEP AND WHAT FOLLOWS sleep, she pushes against water, gasping for air. It’s not until she wakes—at the edge of daylight—that her mind registers two thoughts simultaneously: that her knees ache, that Albert is still dead. On this, a Sunday morning, a third thought follows as she begins moving her legs to the edge of…

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The Ladder

By Mika Seifert Short Story

THIS IS THE SEQUENCE of events that led to Peter Bumble’s downfall: in 1958, as you well know, the Totochabo regime came to power in a military coup that claimed the lives of thousands. Immediately following this, as a first order of business, stairs were declared outdated and no longer practicable for living. The lower stories…

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Radiant Power: Authority and Violence in New Egyptian Fiction

By M. Lynx Qualey Essay

The Televangelist by Ibrahim Essa, translated by Jonathan Wright (American University in Cairo Press, 2016) The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette (Melville House, 2016) “The Boy Jihadi” by Youssef Rakha (Guernica, 2015)   IN THE EARLY HOURS of January 1, 2011, a bomb was set off among New Year’s Eve worshippers…

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Mending the Broken Estate

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

JAMES Wood is a literary critic to die for. Earnest, passionate, and erudite, Wood’s lucid, distinctive voice has cut a wide swathe through what often seem like the mutterings and tergiversations of contemporary literary discourse. Still in his thirties, this British expatriate is now the in-house critic at The New Republic and his first collection…

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The Wedding Season

By Maureen McGranaghan Short Story

FATHER BOB MORTON had always enjoyed the wedding season, until this year. Of course, the proper mood came upon him when he felt the adrenaline of bride, groom, and family, and he delivered his homilies, presided over the vows and rings, consecrated the Eucharist, and attended the receptions per protocol. But he did not eat much…

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The Broom

By Yossel Birstein Short Story

THE THREE OF US got on bus 20 and rode from Ir Ganim to the Jaffa Gate of the Old City. The other two, a lieutenant-general from the air force and an Australian reporter who hated Jews, sat facing me, knees touching knees. I reminded them who I was, the man who when young swore…

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The Promised Land

By Elizabeth Altomonte Short Story

THIS IS WHAT THINGS ARE LIKE HERE. The Palestinian fedayeen raids continue without mercy. Hardly a week goes by without a civilian being shot or ambushed in the Israeli Sector. Aubrey visits now and then, the young man’s face unalterably severe. He says there is a sense of foreboding in the air, a quiet dread,…

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Day Lilies

By Elaine Neil Orr Short Story

SHE KEPT WAKING up at 4:45 in the morning, and when she did she felt lonelier than death, like an iron globe was locking over her heart. A dull but definite click. She could almost feel it, a shudder in the bed. Sometimes she went back to sleep and she would oversleep, staying in bed…

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The Tower

By Gina Ochsner Short Story

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves…

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The Newest Thing in the World

By David McGlynn Short Story

FOR THE LAST MONTHS of his life, my father lived upstairs from us. His ceiling pitched all the way to the floor, and three tall windows overlooked the pines and the bayou behind the house. For furniture there was a double bed, an oak dresser, and a nightstand—any more wouldn’t fit. The room had never…

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