All posts tagged: 2019

The House on Altamount Road

By DIANE MEHTA

Rain pelted down onto Altamount Road below, the delicate en pointe technique of a thousand ballerinas rumbling across a stage. Earlier, the sun had exploded into full bloom for an hour, after which rain clouds shuffled in again. I was resting on a single bed as mid-afternoon light filtered through the darkening clouds and cast the sky in an impressionistic purple-gray hue. In this unfamiliar guest room with its pomegranate-velvet Victorian sofa, I listened to the soft violence of the monsoon shower through the flung-open windows. The same sound had been a steady backbeat to my childhood years in Bombay. Then, just as quickly as the rain shower had come, it disappeared.

The House on Altamount Road
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The Common’s 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominations

It’s that time of year again: below are The Common’s nominations for the annual Pushcart Prize! The Pushcart Prize celebrates outstanding works of literature produced by small-press writers; each of our nominations are exceptional works of art that dare to take fresh and impactful perspectives on what it means to have a unique sense of place.

pushcart

The Common’s 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominations
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For the Experience

By ELLY HONG

It was a hot Los Angeles day when Dad took me to the Oaxaca Festival. As the women onstage twirled their colorful skirts, I could feel the sun sink into my skin and sweat drip down the sides of my face. The light fell directly on my neck and shoulder. I wished I’d brought sunscreen.

For the Experience
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November 2019 Poetry Feature: Ron Welburn

Poems by RON WELBURN

Please welcome back The Common contributor Ron Welburn.

Contents:

  • Marginal Note for Historical Revision
  • Pretty Memory
  • Analog to Ancestry

 

MARGINAL NOTE FOR HISTORICAL REVISION

“Neither Huguenot nor Timucuan gained much
from the other. The Huguenots tried to convert
the Timucuan to Protestantism. The Timucuans
taught the Huguenots to smoke tobacco.”

(Charles Hudson, The Southeastern Indians, 1976. p. 429)

November 2019 Poetry Feature: Ron Welburn
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Friday Reads: November 2019

Curated by: SARAH WHELAN

Already done reading our latest Issue? Prolong the fun with these weekend reading recommendations from our Issue 18 contributors. 

Recommendations: The Weil Conjectures by Karen Olsson; Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk; 7th Cousins: An Automythography by Erin Brubacher and Christine Brubaker; How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

Friday Reads: November 2019
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A Cabin and a Dog

By SUSAN HARLAN

Cabin in Fries, VA

Fries, VA

I like to find quiet mountain cabins where I can read and write over the weekends, and I always take my dog Millie. She’s a 60-pound tan dog with pretty eyes. A mutt. I got her at a nearby shelter nine years ago, and now she’s eleven.

A couple of years ago, we started going to a cabin in Virginia, about an hour and a half from my home in central North Carolina. The cabin was built in the 1940s, and it’s a ways down a bumpy dirt road, with no marked street address. There’s a creek on the property and a one-mile trail behind the cabin to the New River.

A Cabin and a Dog
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Review: Older Brother

Book by MAHIR GUVEN

Translated from the French by TINA KOVER

Reviewed by FEROZ RATHER

book cover

The protagonist of Mahir Guven’s debut novel, Older Brother, is the son of a Syrian emigre taxi driver and a French mother who has died by the time the story begins. He is in his late twenties. An Uber driver addicted to hash, he is living in a suburban ghetto outside of Paris he calls “the dump of France.” He fears his ennui, induced by the indifference of the countless customers he ferries around, might kill him. But despite the jadedness, his caustic humor enlivens him, endowing his fulminations with a faint existential quality.

Review: Older Brother
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New Eras

By ASHA THANKI

In the early 1990s, as fighter jets flew over burning oil fields in Kuwait, the star wars of the Cold War relegated to recent memory, astronomers questioned the apparent emptiness of the outer solar system. There had been a long-standing presumption that the outer reaches were entirely devoid of the matter—the planets, the asteroids, the moons—that existed in abundance closer to the sun. What if, instead, out in that deep and dark expanse, items existed but only fleetingly? What if the gravitational pull of larger planets cut the lives of smaller objects short? Was it possible that there were more beautiful things to explore? But without the technology or means to prove it, the presumed void remained just that—a void.

New Eras
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Rising Sap (La sève)

By MARIE-CLAIRE DEWARRAT

Translated from the French (Switzerland) by MARGARET BESSER

Originally published in French in the collection En enfer, mon amour, Editions de l’Aire, 1990.

Story appears in both French and English

 

Translator’s note

I first encountered the work of Marie-Claire Dewarrat when I read her novel Carême, the story of a grieving father which the author wrote following the death of her own daughter. I was entranced by the book’s sweet strangeness and the way it wove dark, violent realities into the slow rhythms of grief and healing. In the short story collection from which “Rising Sap” is drawn, that darkness often takes a fantastical, surreal turn. Dewarrat’s fiction is deeply tied to season and landscape, more specifically to the countryside of French-speaking Switzerland where much of her work is set. Her wise, often teasing narratorial voice playfully and skillfully blends poetic language with informal, local turns of phrase, vividly conjuring that particular place.

Rising Sap (La sève)
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Author Postcard Auction 2019

It's that time of year again: bid for a personalized, handwritten postcard from your favorite author through The Common's annual author postcard auction! The personalization of the postcards makes them fantastic gifts, and they should arrive in time for the holidays.

Chris Bachelder postcardJoin in on the fun this year for a chance to receive a postcard from Pulitzer Prize-winners, National Book Award-winners, and Guggenheim Fellows. In the past few years, authors have famously gone all out with their postcards: expect to receive anything from long letters to drawings and haikus.

Online bidding begins this year on November 11, 2019 at 10 a.m. EST! Participating authors include literary powerhouses like David Sedaris, George Saunders, Ann Patchett, André Aciman, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, among others. Newcomer authors this year include author-actors Jenny Slate and Alan Cumming. Don't miss out!

All proceeds from the auction will help The Common's effort to publish emerging writers, aid our Literary Publishing Internship Program, and allow us to establish even more connections with students across the globe via The Common in the Classroom. Check out the full list of authors at our auction site: https://charityauction.bid/postcards.

 

Author Postcard Auction 2019
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