A Public Space is partnering with our neighbors Nunu Chocolates on a Valentine's subscription special: Four issues of stories for the twenty-first century, and four chocolates for any time, all for $36—we couldn't dream up a sweeter deal. Supplies are limited, so place your order today. (And don't forget to gift yourself, too!)
Give the gift of A Public Space and Nunu Chocolates to all the sweethearts, pals, comrades, and buddies in your life. Order by February 10 and receive Issue 17, a personalized gift card, and a box of four assorted chocolates and caramels from Nunu, our favorite neighborhood chocolatier.
She noticed he was careful never to touch Annabelle with the hand that was missing fingers. They talked about gardening, and Kirill’s coworkers at the store (stupid, all of them), and his cousin’s apartment (dirty, noisy), and the woman at the fishmonger (she saved the best fillets for him), and the man at the bakery (he gave Kirill discounts). Kirill had a network all over town, people who did favors for him, who treated him specially for one reason or another. He spoke of these arrangements as if he had figured out how to get away with something. “America,” he sighed, shaking his head. “I am still wondering how to win her.” —JESSICA FRANCIS KANE’S “AMERICAN LAWN”
I received a call from S. many years later, one of those hot nights after Christmas in *osario when the heat and humidity stick to your skin, making it take shelter in a memory of cold days and the cold skins it once touched, and the voice on the other side of the telephone—a voice I barely recalled—told me that she’d just come back from two years in Europe and asked me if I still remembered our afternoons drinking on the grass, and I said yes, and the voice announced that she had a story for me like those we used to tell on those distant afternoons —MARA FAYE LETHEM translates PATRICIO PRON
I turned from the sidewalk to the glass-fronted gallery and was there confronted by a phalanx of twelve impassively gleaming helmets, suspended at face height and seemingly locked on the whites of my eyes. Instead of our common humanity, I was impelled to consider in haste how we as a species are alien, to others, each other, the planet, and ourselves. In the game plan of those helmets I didn’t register even as an impediment. They made a deep phalanx, too, in staggered ranks of five, four, and three helmets each, such that an end run was inadvisable. In short, I was toast. —DOUGLAS CRASE on MICHELLE JAFFÉ’s WAPPEN FIELD
new fiction by JOHN HASKELL, PETER ORNER, TOM DRURY and MEGAN CUMMINS
“THE MAUSOLEUM OF LOVERS”: NATHANAËL translates the journals of HERVÉ GUIBERT
ROGER GREENWALD translates CHRISTINA HESSELHOLDT
poems by PIERRE REVERDY, MONICA FERRELL, VIJAY SESHADRI, and others
poetry from Palestine: FADY JOUDAH translates GHASSAN ZAQTAN
on the cover: ILONA OLKONEN
APS 17 is here. Renew or subscribe today.
Luna Park called it one of the best new literary magazines of 2011. Junot Díaz said it was "an astonishment, by turns playful and profound, that makes you wish it were a monthly." Now Monkey Business International is back, with Haruki Murakami on writing, travel, and his love of libraries; Hiromi Kawakami's off-kilter insights into a very eccentric neighborhood; Hideo Furukawa's eerie "Breathing Through Gills"; manga renderings of stories by Franz Kafka and Lafcadio Hearn; Mieko Kawakami's prose poem version of J. D. Salinger's "A Perfect Day for Bananafish"; Minoru Ozawa's quirky haiku; Yoko Ogawa and other writers responding to a post-disaster questionnaire ("What Do You Wish We Had in Japan Today?"); more of Sachiko Kishimoto's tantalizing "Forbidden Diary"; a poem by Stuart Dybek; new stories by Rebecca Brown and Barry Yourgrau—plus much, much more. The issue will be out in April, and there will be a launch party extravaganza in May, but while you wait, we are proud to announce a new home for the Monkey, which will feature content and conversations as lively as what awaits you in the magazine. Check it out!
Dadas’s accounts of his travels appear at first to be oddly innocent. The innocence reads as befuddlement, a kind of obliviousness. But as you continue to read, as he walks and walks and walks, something else begins to show through: a stubborn desire to attain a state of innocence... It’s a strange way of thinking about wonder—the will to wonder. —“A Stubborn Desire”: Maud Casey in fugue country. On mad travelers, the childlike awe of Werner Herzog, Isaac Babel’s mastery of the genre of silence, and what happens when an old couple discovers the village they’ve been living in their whole lives.
Why, Poppy’s a Larson, you know his mother was. The Reagans attended their wedding. So did Julia Child!
Chris sighed and closed his eyes.
Sweetheart, you’re driving. Please open your eyes. Sweetheart!
So much sadness and pain to follow. She was always glad the last thing she said to him, in their married life, was sweetheart.
"Lost Cat," a new story by Mary-Beth Hughes.
Games I play while riding the subway: Check out the passengers, decide which are adulterers. Imagine what’s harder for that woman by the door: long periods of solitude or the lack thereof. Guess which of those three guys over there recently awoke into a vacancy so total that for a second (right before the engine of consciousness kicked in), he felt freed at last from time and self and was terrified, awed, elated —Martha Cooley reads Alfred Döblin’s modernist masterpiece, Berlin Alexanderplatz, on the R train.
Plus: Leslie Jamison on the West Memphis Three, Joel Rotenberg translates Ernst Weiss’s Der arme verschwender, Jeroen Toirkens’s Nomads, new work by Sarah A. Strickley and Tania James; poems by Jorie Graham, W. G. Sebald, Timothy Donnelly, Matthea Harvey, and others.
APS 15 is here.
Congratulations to Jesmyn Ward, who received the National Book Award last night for her extraordinary novel Salvage the Bones. Her debut story, "Cattle Haul," appeared in APS 5, a new story, "Barefoot," in APS 14. We wrote about Salvage here, Ron Charles reviewed it here, and you can hear her read from the novel here.
It’s easier driving through the country, especially when you doing a cattle haul. Two lanes on one side and two lanes on the other. Switch lanes and pass. At night, like now, the signs sharp and clear. The trees like waves at the side of the road, all black and blue, coming in and going back out like a tide. Ain’t no lights to distract me, to crowd up around me. Just taillights, red lights, like ants, leading me in a line westward. —Read on.
“It had a great feeling of unreality. I mean, I was a designer of china; I was not in the business of killing Stalin. Imagine yourself! Most of the time I did not believe that I would have an opportunity to relate this to anybody. I really did not. There was very little probability that I would live; nobody wished me well.”
In her prison memoir, the designer Eva Zeisel describes her sixteen-month imprisonment, mostly in solitary confinement, in Russia, after being caught in early Stalinist purges and accused of plotting to kill Stalin.
I was drawn again and again to those places where the city had been cracked open and had not completely healed. Some of them, like the African Burial Ground and Trinity Church, were places I had written about in my novel Open City, but at which I still had unfinished business.
Teju Cole’s photographs of Lower Manhattan document the landscape beyond the actual site of the World Trade Center attacks, and serve to explore not only the present time, but also the “deep time… historical time” that crops up while walking down Wall Street.
The Rosencrantzes present The Tragedy of King Lear With sock puppets! Jacob played the king. Leah played all the daughters but was least convincing as the nice one. Eli played everybody else and directed and collected the tickets. Seventy-five cents per bumpkin…
An excerpt from Peter Orner’s novel Love and Shame and Love, forthcoming from Little, Brown in November.Continue reading
This Friday, Sam Stephenson and Chris McElroen’s Chaos Manor premieres at The Invisible Dog, just down the street from A Public Space. Sam arrived from Raleigh-Durham over the weekend, his 138th trip to New York City in the fifteen years he’s been researching the photographer W. Eugene Smith. Chaos Manor culls material—audio recording and images—from Smith's archives, and is based on Sam's book The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957-1965. Sam's 136 th and 137th trips were for Chaos Manor workshops this summer at A Public Space.
He sent an update over the weekend from the final rehearsals: Levon's saxophone from the third floor window reverberates up and down Bergen Street without amplification and the image of him through the window is impressive. The images are projected onto fabric hanging from the ceiling inside Invisible Dog's windows. With the figures moving between the projector and the fabric, it’s not unlike Smith's portrait of 821 Sixth Avenue with the silhouette cutouts. Pedestrians were stopped by curiosity and looked up at the building. A few lingered. A few people across the street closed their windows. When you add MLK giving a speech, Mr. Magoo commercials, Cuban Missile news, the drip of water, the typewriter typing, not to mention imagery...Continue reading