Of Giants and Men

You were a giant, once. Every step resonated through my world, every word tolled like the great bells of London. You were the sky I aspired to reach, the limits I aspired to challenge. The limits, my mind whispered, that I could never hope to surpass. For how does one swim better than a dolphin, … Continue reading Of Giants and Men

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World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Barrels Towards its End

The Last Policeman series by Ben H. Winters has garnered an Edgar Award (2012, The Last Policeman) and a Philip K. Dick Award (2013, Countdown City), delightful recognition in a literary world where awards often go to novels that are epic, meticulously crafted, relevant, or even stupefying, but not always fun. This month, the final … Continue reading World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Barrels Towards its End

Safe

He was safe. No phones would ring, no thieves could break in, no internet hackers would steal his identity. Enclosed in his one-bedroom bungalow ten miles outside of Raleigh, Joe planned for everything. He could still get around if need be. His handicapped-modified car allowed him to visit people and go to stores. But otherwise, … Continue reading Safe

Rain

“Hey, do you hear that?” Betty asks. She rushes into the lounge room with a stricken look on her face. “Hear what? That’s just the rain and wind. Nothing to be surprised about. It’s raining cats and dogs outside,” Andy replies and faces the television once again. “No, that’s not it. It sounds like someone … Continue reading Rain

The Interpretation of an Alligator

I wasn’t as surprised as I should have been when I read that Bobbie Baker had come home from work one afternoon to find a five-foot alligator on her doorstep. I should have been as shocked as she was when she poked it with a broomstick, and it flicked one ancient eye open to glare … Continue reading The Interpretation of an Alligator

What the Pig Saw

The pig sat beside the farmer. Its beady eyes seemed to survey its surroundings. "That's a lean pig you've got there, Len," the barman said to the farmer. "Aye. Not sure how it got to my farm. I looked out two days ago and there it was, on my doorstep." Len sipped at his pint. … Continue reading What the Pig Saw

The Paradox of Sustenance

Nick tossed the bag into the dumpster and leaned back against the brick wall to light his cigarette. His shift was almost over, second of four for the weekend, and as he inhaled he silently cursed Jason for taking off with some tramp two months ago.  It shouldn't be difficult to find a dishwasher, but … Continue reading The Paradox of Sustenance

This is What it Feels Like

This is what it’s like to be ‘strong’ and ‘confident’ and ‘capable’. I am in a runaway car hurtling down a road. The accelerator is stuck to the floor, and the brake is loose beneath my desperately pounding foot. My hands are tight around the steering wheel. It presses against my sweaty palms as I … Continue reading This is What it Feels Like

The Cycle

How can I improve my writing? It's a common question. There are a few things you can do: Reading Reading and writing is a cultural conversation. People write books to say something. Other people read those books and a few of those write books in return. As has been pointed out many times, you should … Continue reading The Cycle

The Beautiful Trap of Belzhar

Meg Wolitzer is revealing herself to be a terrifically nimble, as well as prolific author. Since 2011 she’s published The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, an acclaimed middle-grade novel, and The Uncoupling and The Interestings, both for adults, following a career that’s spanned over thirty years so far. Forthcoming in September 2014 is Belzhar, Wolitzer’s foray … Continue reading The Beautiful Trap of Belzhar