A weekend’s worth of reading – short fiction, reviews, commentary, criticism, news and miscellaneous other bits from around the publishing world.

Highlighting this week’s Review is Andrew Klavan’s short story “The Windows.” It is the first short story ever published by in the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Andrew’s story is a fascinating exploration of real world threats and personal paranoia. Let’s hope City Journal continues presenting quality short fiction, such as this, alongside its excellent selection of political and cultural essays.

Another item that might interest American Culture readers is Gerald Howard’s essay, titled “Never Give An Inch.” Tin House, the literary journal that originally published it, subtitled the article, “The Working Class Meets the Literary Class.” Howard’s essay opens a topic that demands greater exploration.

Short Fiction

  • The Windows by Andrew Klavan
    • “During his life — that’s how he thought about it: back in the old days, during his life — he had had a reputation as a hard case, a tough guy.”
  • May Day by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • “All through the long spring days the returning soldiers marched up the chief highway behind the strump of drums and the joyous, resonant wind of the brasses, while merchants and clerks left their bickerings and figurings and, crowding to the windows, turned their white-bunched faces gravely upon the passing battalions.”
  • The Gifts of the Child Christ by George MacDonald
    • “Happy the man who shall then be able to believe that old age itself, with its pitiable decays and sad dreams of youth, is the chastening of the Lord, a sure sign of his love and his fatherhood.”
      It was the first Sunday in Advent; but “the chastening of the Lord” came into almost every sermon that man preached.

Reviews & Interviews

Commentary, Criticism, and the Writing Life

  • Never Give An Inch by Gerald Howard – “The working class meets the literary class.”
    • “Back in the forties and fifties, the bios, for novelists at least, leaned very heavily on the tough and colorful professions and pursuits that the author had had experience in before taking to the typewriter. … Contemporary dust jacket biographies tend to document the author’s long march through the elite institutions, garnering undergraduate and postgraduate and MFA degrees, with various prizes and publications in prestigious literary magazines all duly noted.”
  • The Tablet and the Field by David Griffith
    • “One of my earliest memories is of the bookcase in the second floor hallway of my grandparent’s house falling on top of me. I had been climbing it trying to reach a book on the top shelf when it toppled. … I didn’t panic. Instead, I recall feeling a strange comfort having my shoulders pinned to the floor by so many books.
  • Science Fiction, Literature, and the Haters by Jake Seliger
    • “Why does so little science fiction rise to the standards of literary fiction?”

News & Miscellany