Entertainment

Revenge Fantasy

Jeffrey Goldberg compares clips from Tarantino's new Nazi-themed movie with footage from Schindler's List and Munich

Grave

Billy Collins reads this poem aloud

Two Poems

A Note from the Spadefoot Toads

Hungry

Homestead

Bone Fires

Swan Song of the Last Believer

Fire Ants

Boy

The Laugh

Neal had believed all the myths about hyenas. He believed they were cowards until he saw them fight, scavengers until he saw them kill; and after the first time they cornered him in the Jeep, he began to take more notice of the local stories: their big-eyed curiosity, their unnerving persistence, the relative ease with which they let themselves into gated villages.

Telling Tails

The problem with unsuccessful stories is usually simple: they are boring, a consequence of the failure of imagination. To vividly imagine and to vividly render extraordinary human events, or sequences of events, is the hard-lifting, heavy-duty, day-by-day, unending labor of a fiction writer.

Eyes on the Prize

Literary awards are inherently subjective, potentially corrupting, and oftentimes humiliating. They are also perhaps the most powerful antidote we have to the decline of serious fiction. and—as the author, the editor of The Best American Short Stories 2009, discovered—the best way of bringing good narrative to a wider world that desperately needs it.

Furlough

Colleen was coming home from Iraq. Henry worried about how the girls would react when they saw their mother again after all this time, when they saw how she’d changed. And then there was Moira, Colleen’s sister. She was like a surrogate mother now. Almost a surrogate wife.

Alba

Último knew people claimed they’d seen Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary and even Jesus Christ. But this was Alba, an ordinary girl from Ricardo Flores. She had on shorts and a pale blouse, and her face was conflicted with desire. “Let me make a fire,” he said to her. “You must be cold.”

Fish Story

It was a swollen, gasping, netherworld creature. We had no tub big enough for it. Men came over and placed lanterns on the ground all around it, like candelabra at a dinner setting. I hoped it would die before they skinned it. Do you ever think those days were different, that time had not yet been corrupted?

PS

What I know now is that I should not have continued shelling out 200bucks a pop to you. On some days I felt you two were picking up a frequency like a dog whistle that I just wasn’t able to hear. Of course, you might just have a great gift for empathy, but then I’d have to ask where was this gift when Jerry was trying to have me committed to the attic like that woman in Jane Eyre who set everything on fire.

Least Resistance

Holding her hand in the coffee shop, I realized how close I’d come to blowing it with the one person in my life who needed me. Her family was back in Oregon. Her husband was distracted, about to lose his reputation and business if he couldn’t pull it together. And here I was, listening.

Fiction Matters

Border Crossings

Voices of Love

“I was dying with shame under the sheet. June was my best friend.”
“She put the light out and unbuttoned my shirt. This was the first sex of my life. It was heaven.”
“I was a waiter in Provincetown. My life changed when I met Ken.”
“My husband, Byron, was a terrible diplomat. He quarreled with his colleagues and neglected me.”

Saving the American Auto

In-Matey

Status

Machiavelli's Discourses

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

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