Night Owls

Night Owls Winner of the 2022 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction Selected by Ramona Ausubel Photo by Mathew Schwartz   Past dusk, Hom releases the squirrel. Huffing and delirious with pain from the BB shot embedded in a hind leg, it limps across the yard, seeking refuge in the shadowy expanse. Clouds disperse, unveiling a […]


The Irish writer Colin Barrett’s second story collection, Homesickness, contains memorable portraits of characters who are caught within the tight strictures of small-town life, uneasily moving ahead while bearing the burdens of their ever-present histories. The stories are mostly set in Mr. Barrett’s birthplace of County Mayo, on the Atlantic coast of Ireland, and while […]

The Predatory Animal Ball

Jennifer Fliss jolts the reader awake in her debut collection, The Predatory Animal Ball. She usually does so within the first sentence, which is no small feat given that this collection contains forty pieces of flash fiction. In the opening story, “Pigeons,” the narrator begins: I once saw a pigeon on Third Avenue hobbling around […]

2 A.M. in Little America

As with pop music and fashion, literature tends to follow the tide of emergent cultural movements, ideas, conflicts, and challenges. Occasionally, as with Ken Kalfus’s latest novel, 2 A.M. in Little America, a work of art looks further ahead, responding to our present moment by imagining a possible future. Ostensibly responding to our own increasingly […]

A Most Generous Offer

A Most Generous Offer Photo by Carsten Ullrich    i. The apartment in Beijing was Lin’s and mine until Ma made the generous decision of allowing old Mrs. Yang to move in. My sister and I spent our summers there. Lin liked to trample through the weeds caulking the patches around the apartment building, gathering […]

Seeking Fortune Elsewhere

The eight stories in Seeking Fortune Elsewhere, Sindya Bhanoo’s exquisite debut story collection, paint a portrait of characters struggling to make sense of the lives they have been given and trying to figure out what, exactly, lies within their control. The stories take place in India and in the United States, in the late 20th […]

Now you Know It All

Now You Know It All, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, reads more like a collection of very small novels than a collection of stories, given the breadth, depth, and twists in each offering. It’s not that these tales feel like stories that want to be novels—they are decidedly and perfectly what they should […]

Shit Cassandra Saw

In Greek mythology, Apollo grants Trojan priestess Cassandra the power to prophesize the future, but curses her after she refuses his sexual advances by making sure no one believes her visions, therefore facilitating the destruction of both Cassandra and Troy. But in Gwen E. Kirby’s electric, poignant, hilarious, and fiercely feminist story collection, Shit Cassandra […]