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Cyan James

Chalked with earth, Cyan James’s writing has an almost mythic physicality to it. Place permeates her stories. In her work of fiction in Issue 98, the smells of mangoes and athletic tape, bright purple, drift across the page, and vultures drift through sky and memory, their shadows cool. Landscape and mindscape are overlaid; the retreat…

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Zeeva Bukai

“Identity is a stone, he’d say. They’d write these words in their notebooks, pens hissing like insects scuttling across paper. America is a river that wears it away.” These lines from Zeeva Bukai’s story “Like Water on Stone,” as it appears in Issue 95, demonstrate the simple beauty of Bukai’s writing, which allows readers to glide…

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Phil Klay

In our time, if you don’t know someone in the service, military life can feel curtained off from the rest of us. Phil Klay offers a generous window into that world, and into the consequences of our nation’s military presence in the Middle East, both for the people who live there and for the ordinary…

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Lynda Sexson

Lynda Sexson is an amphibious writer—she slips easily across the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, science and philosophy, personal essay and thought-piece. Fiction and nonfiction are not separate categories but a continuum for her, as are the natural and supernatural worlds. Like a classical essayist, she often begins in pursuit of a question, and she’ll…

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A. Muia

Fiction set in the past can be tricky. Readers—and authors—love to learn things we didn’t know, but all that research can smother the life out of a piece of fiction. Done well, however, this kind of fiction can give us a special vantage point on both the past and the present. Andrea Barrett, a notable…

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Bryce Taylor

Twelve years ago in Image issue 33, Bret Lott wrote that he often found talented young writing students who were so afraid of sentimentality that they were unwilling to risk real emotion. After describing what he calls the diminishing returns of irony in contemporary fiction, he quotes David Foster Wallace, who wrote in 1993 that: “The…

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Charles Turner

Through the polished and engaging short fiction of Charles Turner, we encounter a southerner of the old school. His stories are powered by a consciousness that feels particular to the South—a sensitivity to spiritual realities, and also to manners and surfaces. In the sitting rooms and country shacks, grocery stores and fish camps, bedrooms and…

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Tony Woodlief

Tony Woodlief is a writer of remarkable range. Unembarrassed by emotion, brutally honest about the worst of us (and of himself), he writes exquisite prose about dark things. He’s written heartbreakingly about the history of his family, a story that involves the profoundest tragedy—the loss of a child—and the most disarming comedy, as life goes…

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Samuel Thomas Martin

Samuel Thomas Martin is possessed of the ability to spin a good yarn—and also to plumb the depths. In his novels and short fiction he marries canny and satisfying storytelling with a rich and sympathetic investigation of his characters’ interior worlds, all lovingly and convincingly grounded in the land- and seascapes of his native Canada.…

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Jessie Van Eerden

Jessie Van Eerden writes with force and sensitivity about what Dennis Covington calls “the only ethnic group in America not allowed to have a history”—the residents of her native Appalachia. Her vivid writing unfolds the lives of mountain people with humanity and grace. Her debut novel, Glorybound, follows two very different daughters of a fallen…

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