Like New Year’s Eve, the onset of summer evokes plans and hopes, projects and promises. Often among them is the Summer Reading List. “This will be the summer,” we say, “when I read [insert major work you’re ashamed to admit you’ve never read].” But we might not necessarily start that list on June 1. We’ll start after the in-laws visit. Well, right after the floors get refinished. OK, just as soon as we get back from the camping trip. And before we know it, September is knocking at the front door.

One of the many things to love about a literary magazine is that it offers a generous selection of shorter works, to be savored one at a time, no shame in skipping ahead and then back again or letting some time pass between each story or essay or poem. In this issue, we bring you an assortment of new fiction. In Afsheen Farhadi’s “On the Faces of Others,” a man works to reconcile memories (perhaps unreliable) of responsibility he may or may not have taken. Fathers and sons try to reconnect as the traumas of war continue to reverberate stateside in Edward Hamlin’s “After Dreamland.” After losing her mother—and against the backdrop of her first love—a teenage girl and her family struggle through their grief and acceptance in Danielle Lazarin’s “Appetite.” And a woman restless in her comfortable relationship quite suddenly finds herself in an intimate situation with her neighbor in Dalia Rosenfeld’s “Invasions.”

Among our essays, we present Stephanie Harrison’s “What We Have Left,” recounting a contentious summer of illness, economic uncertainty, language barriers, and divorce. Wendy Rawlings looks tenderly at the shifting frames of sexual identity in “Portrait of a Family, Crooked & Straight.” And Emily Strasser comes to us with “Exposure,” an awp award–winning meditation on radiation, photography, and memory.

Read one, then another. Take a break. Embrace the heat. Then read some more. You have all summer.

Featured in This Issue

Rennie Ament, Brennan Bestwick, Ryan Bollenbach, Molly McCully Brown, Daniel Coudriet, Christina Davis, Jenny Drai, Tim Earley, Noah Falck, Afsheen Farhadi, Samuel Gale, Benjamin Goldberg, Laura Kolbe, Edward Hamlin, Stephanie Harrison, Nancy Kuhl, Danielle Lazarin, Marco Maisto, Catherine Pierce, Wendy Rawlings, Dalia Rosenfeld, C. C. Russell, Robert Yerachmiel Snyderman, Peyton Prater Stark, G.C. Waldrep, Emily Strasser, Tana Jean Welch

Select Pieces from This Issue