The Common Issue 20 cover showing a piece of cake on a fork against a bright pink background I was hysterical—and I use that word deliberately. Never before had I felt so inescapably female. ” Delusions of Grandeur   |   Essay by A. Natasha Joukovsky » The Common Issue 20 cover showing a piece of cake on a fork against a bright pink background The fire spread to huts bordering the station, smoke filling the chests of the laborers who lived there. In this way more than a hundred people died. The government promised compensation.” LitFest Guest Megha Majumdar   |   A Burning » The Common Issue 20 cover showing a piece of cake on a fork against a bright pink background Ever since you were a boy, you’ve dreamt of being Kung Fu Guy. You are not Kung Fu Guy. You are currently Background Oriental Male, but you’ve been practicing. Maybe tomorrow will be the day.” LitFest Guest Charles Yu   |   Interior Chinatown »
Image of Charles Yu's book, Interior Chinatown.

LitFest 2021 Excerpt: Interior Chinatown

CHARLES YU
Ever since you were a boy, you’ve dreamt of being Kung Fu Guy. You are not Kung Fu Guy. You are currently Background Oriental Male, but you’ve been practicing. Maybe tomorrow will be the day. Ever since you were a boy, you’ve dreamt of being Kung Fu Guy.

Reflective pool

Delusions of Grandeur

A. NATASHA JOUKOVSKY
There is something post-decadent about Versailles in winter. The fountains are off; there are not many tourists. Everything is still fiercely geometric and over-the-top, but in this gray, expired kind of way, at least most of the day; the crisp chill of nighttime being an exception.

poetry feature image

February 2021 Poetry Feature

REBECCA MORGAN FRANK
Nineteenth-century body snatchers / dug down to the head / and roped the body up, / chucked jewels back to dirt, little interest / in mementos, only / the corpses themselves. / That’s how we learned our bodies had a life / on their own, a worth / without us. / We can freeze and sell our eggs...

David Moloney stands in front of a white door

Writers on Writing: David Moloney

DAVID MOLONEY
I tried to write true stories but fictionalize them by merely changing names. I didn’t want to betray the truth. But I found that the stories were coming off as if a stranger sat down next to you at the bar and started telling you about their life. They were annoyingly uninteresting.

The Language of the Body

SARA ELKAMEL
We pull the black of Rum over our eyes / like skin. God’s earth is vast, vast, vast—but by day / she wrapped her limbs around my limbs and drew / my air. I follow her into the dark, consider saying: Please, / I don’t know what you need—but all I see is red. / At the foot of the dunes I push her, soft as the sin

Cover for The Wild Heavens

Friday Reads: February 2021

Curated by ISABEL MEYERS
Like du Maurier’s more famous Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel takes place in a manor house in the British countryside and involves wealthy people with dark secrets. Main character Phillip despises his deceased cousin’s wife, Rachel—for isn’t she simply trying to steal his fortune?—until he falls in love with her, until he comes to despise her again, because perhaps she is trying to steal his fortune after all.

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