new fiction + non-fiction

Vertigo unbound. Frolicking cardinals. Chicago divided. Utopian anarchy. A treatise on end-of-life care. The trouble with Brazil. A transgender surf legend. The Golden State of mind. Patricia Highsmith. The Viking female slave trade. . .

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excerpt > Gabriel Blackwell > Madeleine E.


[EXT. San Francisco Roof Tops (DUSK)]

. . .

We open already in pursuit of something ineffable: the outline of a man Jimmy Stewart is chasing. We briefly see this man’s face in soft focus and shadowed, but, because we are not ready for it (how could we be? we have no context; we could ask “Will this be a main character?” but our next question would then be “In what?”) and because we never see it again, it might as well never have been shown. Can you remember what he looked like? Even after watching Vertigo fifty-plus times, I have no mental picture of him. Why is Stewart chasing this man? We will never know. . .

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excerpt > Ben Nickol > Adherence


I can know Bradley’s arrival in Chicago without having seen it.

The air is gray, interacting with gray concrete, the grayness of pigeons, and is potent, for him, with far more than rain.

He walks off the platform at Washington Street and follows Wells to the river, where the traffic is a sweeping hush and Merchandise Mart, in its hulking splendor, presides over dark water, his view of it flecked with birds.

Cab fare should be out of the question. Bradley has no money, nor will ever—even when eventually he makes money it will bead like oil and roll from his hands. But he flags one, and they cross the LaSalle bridge, tires thumping beneath them. Like a child, Bradley cranes his face at the window, the city flitting by in a gray variance of lateral speeds, the near velocity of traffic against the farther stroll of pedestrians, the towers churning south at a rate just perceptible to his eye, like a migration of shadows. The city vanishes, and they bend through the park. He slides to the other window to see it, then slides back and watches the shore, the white breakers crashing against it.

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excerpt > Larry Smith > Patrick Fitmike and Mike Fitzpatrick


There is no great sense of loss for those with limited expectations. Vague ache there may have been to contemplate the life of other boys who were also sons; inchoate envy of some sort was what if anything he likely felt to see many of those other boys even actually become, as the years went by, less the sons of and more the friends and fond companions of the men, even of the reprobate men; become less their sons eventually than loving doters on and helpers of the drunken penurious men or the flashing piratical rogues of whom great stories were told in their neighborhoods. Some sons became the veritable lieutenants of yet another breed of fathers who were the world’s pious familial stalwarts building out small fiefdoms or occasional empires from the small towns like the one he was born to or, no differently, from their brick stone or cobblestone South End or Back Bay tenement composts. And all he had really ever envied was not the doting or the embraces or the tacit reciprocities but simply that they had something, whatever it was, he did not and could never..

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