September 25th, 2013 | 8:00am


We show up at Mayflower Beach at ten one August morning, and the parking attendant, a tanned teenaged girl in a gold tee shirt, tells us we’re too late, the lot is full. To ensure a spot, it’s best to come around 8:00 a.m., or even earlier.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Shreyans Bhansali
September 24th, 2013 | 8:00am

I moved back to my parents’ house in Philadelphia just over a year ago, when I found out my mother was dying from cancer. The day I found out was my first day of a part-time job at Columbia University in New York City, where I was a master’s degree candidate. My father called me at the tail end of my lunch break, while I was browsing discounted greeting cards at a gift shop that was going out of business.

reviewed by Deborah Michel
September 23rd, 2013 | 8:00am


The prep-school novel has never grabbed me. Maybe it’s because I’m a Californian who didn’t go to an exclusive New England boarding school or send my children to one. Maybe it’s because these novels (yes, you, A Separate Peace, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Prep, A Starboard Sea, and all the Harry Potter books, not to mention The Dead Poet’s Society, even though it’s a movie)—seem precious and predictable portraits of a cossetted (albeit often deadly) social niche.


Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Jason Bache
Multiple Authors
September 20th, 2013 | 8:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Jason Bache

This month we are featuring eight new poems by four The Common contributors:

Ishion Hutchinson:

            --The Two Boundaries of Night

            --Leaf Bed


Photo by the author
September 18th, 2013 | 8:00am

The first time I visited Copenhagen I decided to quit my job. I had spent five years working nearly 60 hours per week as an editor, I never took vacation, I was struggling with finances, and I was deeply unhappy. My parents, who were closing in on retirement, had been to Ireland not long before and the travel bug for Europe had struck. Now they chose Denmark. To my good fortune, they treated their three adult children to this August trip.