Lit Mag Reading Club discussion
Although I read most of the poetry first (because that's my genre), some of the non-fiction pieces were among my favorites -- especially Taking Out the Trash and Notes from a Hypersomniac. I thought the erasures by Lisa Huffaker were some of the best I've ever seen. The curving arrows added to the lyricism of the revealed words and phrases.
Before I ordered this, I saw that on Brecht De Poortere's Lit Mag Ranking The Cincinatti Review was I think the only Lit Mag that scored in every award category he lists. That they also publish first timers is equally impressive.
In Flown, I was drawn to the mysterious Fiona. I loved her entrance. I'm glad that you raised a question about the ending. In the last 4 paragraphs the Au raises 4 different topics three of them completely new - the TV Show, Goodnight, the Raliegh prison, and Audubon. It could have ended in the previous section with the Megan or Wendy quote. The Goodnight saga was very 90s after OJ it seemed like Nancy Grace had a trial of the century every week. It's way to add tension. Goodnight and Fiona exist outside the action of the story for most the way, which one will show up at the end? I would also question why Harris put in all that work if he wasn't interested.
Sylvia Chan's piece was very touching. I like what details were included and what weren't. I'd like to read more like hers although it is tragic that it's non-fiction.
I have to give Claudia Ramirez a hand. That detail made me squeam, but it is so memorable and well done. Bright future for this writer, could be exciting for the review too.
The Yacare Caiman story helped lighten things up. I ordered a Nicoise salad the next day. Happiness and Abundance had me rooting for Mina and struck a balance between fun and seriousness.
I thought this issue was fantastic! Loved the stories you've focused on: "Flown" and "Leaf Peepers," and also really admired the IKEA story.
Welcome and astute commentary on some intricate literature, Becky! I could use a good book of your interviews. As for this Flown past tense like Audubon's paintings I had forgotten that aspect of his oeuvre, The cruelty behind such acts of creation like Julia Smith paints it. Her people are flown to a zombie-like place where they escape execution only to be relegated to purgatory on earth. Lots of intricate tentacles to follow in this well put together, finely represented literary periodical.