May 8th, 2015 | 6:00am

We’re taking this month to revisit books from our pasts, and find new ones that will stay with us. Some of these titles are old favorites, which have found their way back to their recommenders after years apart. Others are books long unread but known by reputation, “by proxy,” finally experienced. We are reading both echoes built on classics and violent shifts from the familiar. These are books both for everyone and specifically for you. They will linger with their recommenders—with all of us—long after reading, into “every possible future.”


Recommended: Junior College by Gary Soto, Karate Chop by Dorthe Nors, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Remembering Babylon by David Malouf, Aeons by Max Rivto.

May 5th, 2015 | 6:00am

A.L. Kennedy was born in Dundee, Scotland. She is the author of 15 books: six novels, six short story collections, and three works of nonfiction. She is a fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Society of Literature. She writes for publications in the UK and overseas and has a blog with The Guardian Online. In addition to author, she is a dramatist for the stage, radio, TV, and film, and a standup comedian. Her new book All The Rage—a collection of short stories—was published by Little A Books in spring 2014. Marni Berger and A.L. spoke about the culture of humor, constructing the landscapes of characters’ minds, and what it means to “write to please.”

reviewed by James Dickson
May 4th, 2015 | 6:00am

Most of us who are over 20 can point to a few big events that set us on the road to adulthood. For the never-named narrator of M.O. Walsh’s debut novel, My Sunshine Away, it was the rape of his teen crush during her sophomore (his freshman) year of high school, Lindy Simpson. The narrator and Lindy have been neighbors since grade school, during which time he has harbored an innocent, but obsessive love for her. The search for the unseen rapist—who knocked her off her bike and forced her face into the ground—brings all the neighborhood oddballs into suspicion. It also brings the narrator closer to realizing his puppy-like fantasy. Unfortunately, he implicates himself in the process, in multiple ways. 

April 30th, 2015 | 6:00am

Welcome readers and listeners! This is The Common Contributor Podcast from The Common magazine. Every other month, we invite our contributors to read and discuss each others work. This month, we discuss two pieces from Issue 06: the essay “Big Not-So-Bad Wolves” by Leigh Newman and the story “They Called it Shooting Then” by Tyler Sage.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Robert Linsdell
April 29th, 2015 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Robert Linsdell

Even viewed from a distance, the harborfront tests the capacities of peripheral vision, tall masts and rigging far off to the right, and in front of us, here, clumsy, rectangular structures painted white with enormous, clear windows that darken in the afternoons.

The light here is blue, like the water, like the eyes of middle-aged tourists who occasionally study our movements. My attention is drawn to a parking lot next to the largest of the structures, where gulls disperse and enclose the comings and goings of visitors like water adapting itself to the spill of large rocks. A breeze seems to lift them, shaving off feathers of white from their wings. It’s a remarkable sight.