“Group of Florida Migrants.” Photo by Jack Delano. Provided by Library of Congress
February 12th, 2013 | 9:00am

I was raised Up South in the 1960s, and I heard grown folk talk about “country” as one of the worst things you could be:

Why you gotta act so country?
Girl, that is some sho ‘nuff Geechee backwoods mess.
Look at her country ass, thinking she cute in that mammy-made dress!

“Group of Florida Migrants.” Photo by Jack Delano. Provided by Library of Congress

reviewed by Sarah Malone
February 11th, 2013 | 11:40am

The fourteen stories in Alice Munro’s latest collection, Dear Life, are terser than her stories of a decade ago. Her 2001 collection, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, nearly identical in length, contained only nine. Many of the new stories trace characteristically oblique paths.

Photo by Jennifer Acker
February 8th, 2013 | 9:00am

We step out of the bungalow, across the lawn, and down, down the red clay path. Behind us, the steep rise of the mountain; in front and below, endless rolls of tea plantations. Beyond, on the far side of the valley, more tea, more waterfalls, more houses perched in the hills rising into the mist. It is morning in Sri Lanka. We walk.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user blmiers2
February 6th, 2013 | 9:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user blmiers2

There is a bend to everything.

Edges melt into curves like winter

and then spring, snow sways from

white to gray, powder to crust

and too many dialects make noise

Photo by Sharona Jacobs
February 5th, 2013 | 9:00am

Photo by Sharona Jacobs

Jennifer Haigh is the author of Baker Towers, Faith, The Condition, and Mrs. Kimble, which won the Pen/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Her short stories have appeared in, among other publications, The Atlantic, Granta, and The Saturday Evening Post. S. Tremaine Nelson met Haigh at New York City's Center for Fiction in December 2012, during The Common’s “Beyond Geography” panel; post-event, Haigh and Nelson discussed their feelings about the bone-withering winters of Massachusetts (Haigh lives in the Boston area; Nelson's family on Cape Cod), and continued their exchange via email. Jennifer’s latest collection, News From Heaven: The Bakerton Stories, published this February by Harper, features a story originally published in Issue No. 04 of The Common.