The Stinker

GABRIEL BROWNSTEIN
The bus doors opened and the kids tumbled out. Jesus, they were terrifying. Sunburned, and mosquito-bitten, all of them in camp T-shirts with signatures of friends and bunkmates, and older girls with signatures on their T-shirts bumping over the lines of their bra-straps.

Jesse Owens, Mr. Harris, and Me

NINA McCONIGLEY
This is how my mother tells it. Jesse Owens taught her to run. I am thirteen. I have just come back from track practice. I have no skill at anything athletic. But junior high for me has been a series of attempts to assimilate. That year in the yearbook, there isn’t a club I’m not in.

Good Boys

MEGAN FERNANDES
Once in a car, a good boy / shook me hard. If you like it / that way in bed, then why are you… / the tiny bruises on my arms / where his prints pressed into my pink/ sleeves rose to the surface like rattles. / Like requests. They thrived there / for a week until they settled /

Viet Thanh Nguyen Headshot

History is Not Over: An Interview with Viet Thanh Nguyen

ALEXANDER BISLEY
This was exemplified in all these Hollywood Vietnam War movies... Watching these movies was one of the primary motivators to want to be a writer, because I wanted to be able to tell the stories of Vietnamese people that were very different than what were being shown in these films.

tree

Rivendell

JULIA PIKE
Finally, it was finished: a hulking, rustic cube of gray-painted wood with huge windows all along the front. In daylight, the house looks haunted—a gray shack with empty dark eyes—but at night, when the yellow lamps are on in the living room and the chimney tosses sparks out into the night sky, the house beckons you in from the cold. The parents were all Tolkien fans, and so they called the house Rivendell: the last safe place for the elves.

Notes on the Inner City book title

Friday Reads: June 2017

We love any excuse to hear from our contributors! This month, our Issue 13 authors and poets tap into their literary communities as they recommend works by colleagues, friends, and Pulitzer Prize winners. United in their affection, the authors are nonetheless divided by their selections, as their choices shed light upon nowhereness, colonization, and Florida oranges.

Using The Common in my first-year seminars has been fun, fruitful, and helpfully startling for these classes.”

—Martha Cooley, Associate Professor of English, Adelphi University

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