Reward for Bravery

[hear the author read this piece by clicking this link.] I was born on a hill two blocks back from the Pacific Ocean. I was born in a garage apartment that I never saw, and then my parents moved even farther from the shore. That was before my father went back to Vietnam, taken with […]

Ghosts (Winner of the 2012 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, Selected by Jane Hamilton)

[hear the author read this piece by clicking this link.] The old man will die in the river room. This is decided before they arrive, by a primly efficient nurse named Anna, who has been hired at great expense from the hospice center in Bristol. She greets them in the driveway, coffee cup in hand. […]

The Common Era

[hear the author read this piece by clicking this link.] The third Wednesday in September is Back to School Night, and as Stephen goes over his World History syllabus, he avoids the eyes of Mona McCullough and feels choked by the collar of his French-cuffed shirt. The summer is behind him, but its heat endures, […]


Crime novels have always been about the traces crime leaves in the external world and within the psyche of the criminal, and how the criminal and those who follow him make meaning of these traces. Modern entries by authors like Kobo Abe (The Ruined Map) and Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy) have elaborated the genre into high literature while also underscoring essential deficits of meaning in traces in the post-industrial world.

Bliss and Other Short Stories

From within their overheated cars and unstable relationships, the characters in Ted Gilley’s debut collection, Bliss and Other Short Stories, contemplate a lost American Eden. The nine powerful stories in this book, which won the 2009 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, gather unity from their characters’ sharp perceptions of forests and fields, strip malls and parking lots.


[hear the author read this piece by clicking this link.]   Their hosts in the south of France, the Clayburns, had asked Roger and his wife not to bring the babies with them. But Malcolm was only two-and-a-half, and Travis just six months. Roger and Claire felt they didn’t have much choice. Or Claire felt […]