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Unbound Fiction
 
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Francs (December 19, 2001)
"The ten-franc note was my favorite—Voltaire, so sly; you could tell he was in trouble with usurers." A short story by Edith Pearlman.

The House on Lunt Avenue (November 13, 2001)
"Philip is eighteen and has just flunked out of the University of Illinois. He lies on his old bed with a pillow over his face." A short story by Peter Orner.

The Result (October 17, 2001)
"He looked down at his hands. They were so red, it was as if all the blood from his pale face had drained downward." A short story by Matthew Clark Davison.

Initiation (August 15, 2001)
"Fraternity initiation, he said desperately—he had to bring a pair of panties, pretty ones, to the ceremony on Friday." A short story by Ann M. Bauer.

Learning Japanese (July 11, 2001)
"At recess, Min Hee and her friends go down and smoke cigarettes on the street. Don't tell Mom, she says, inhaling. I'll get you if you do." A short story by Janice Lee.

The New Job (June 21, 2001)
"Each disciple—and Christ—had a pad, a pen, and a glass of water in front of him. At a small table off to the side, Mary Magdalene took notes on a stenography machine." A short story by Sara Gran.

A Place of Safety (May 18, 2001)
"She recognizes a charred remnant of material, the thick corner of a book still smoldering, the twisted metal buckle of a baby's shoe." A short story by Penny Feeny.

A Sign of the Times (April 25, 2001)
"If I wait long enough he's going to have to ask. He doesn't want to. Asking is like inviting cancer to eat out his insides." A short story by Joan Wilking.

Points of Interest (March 21, 2001)
"I had no idea. How could I? It was just a homework assignment. Perfectly pedestrian. I've been giving the same one for years." By Robert Cohen.

I Was Just Looking (February 21, 2001)
"Her scarlet djelleba was torn slightly at the hem. He gazed at the smooth, graceful curve of her calf, deliberately revealed, he was certain, for his eyes only." By Joe Kuhl.

Daniel Wentworth (January 24, 2001)
"No one knows just when he left, only when they noticed that he was gone, and some of us don't even remember that." By Rachel Carpenter

The Faithful (December 20, 2000)
"It's thirty-two degrees, officially freezing, and we're getting ready for a Christmas Eve swim. Harvey's idea. 'It'll put the fear of God in you better than church.'" By N. M. Kelby

Presidential Election (November 22, 2000)
"My dad wanted his last few years to be in the spotlight. He wanted to be center stage. He drew up his plan to crack the presidency." By Mary McCluskey

Fat From Shame (October 26, 2000)
"Enter pissed-modern history.... The struggle, strangle, poof, thuppernong, last gasp of religion, art, language, memory, and the electricity of the heart." By Clyde Edgerton

Bluegrass Banjo (September 27, 2000)
"The fat musician picked wildly. He wore a pained expression, as though the music were getting away from him, and gradually he looked up from the instrument and into the audience with a wide-eyed helplessness." By Allison Amend

Travel Guide for Ameri-Students Touring Former Soviet Countries (August 23, 2000)
"Section 6: Writing Home." By Anthony Doerr

Bienvenue à Dilbrith College, Marie-Claire Tremblay!! (July 19, 2000)
"Marie-Claire is scheduled to arrive on the three o'clock train. And would Abélard himself not have relinquished his philosophical pursuits in order to accommodate his immaculate Héloïse?" By Simon Fanning

The Limbo of Infants (June 21, 2000)
"They like to go to Chi Chi's for cha-jitas, Claire and Tom, when they are off the island on an interstate, looking for a place to stop." By Sandra Riley

Cicada (May 24, 2000)
"These are things my son taught me to care about. Saturday nights he taught me to feel the thrill of the drag strip. 'The trick,' he said, 'is to not blink when the lights go green.'" By Judy Wilson

Lyris (April 20, 2000)
"She climbed down the outside of the bridge and stood on a narrow ledge. It was not a far drop to the river; it might even be a pleasant jump in the summer." By Tom Drury

Contamination (March 22, 2000)
"Igor spends most of his mornings in a cave, across the street from the park where we used to grill hamburgers and toss Frisbees over each other's heads." By Dalia Rosenfeld

A Catalogue of Change (February 24, 2000)
"In the early morning the girl looks at the lady's palms, which are pink with thin lines. The heart crossed at Jupiter. The mount of Saturn marked by a bursting star. The lifeline divided in two, a forked tongue. And the brain, straight, unwavering; an arrow crossing a river." By Piya Kochhar

Logic Game (January 20, 2000)
"Lydia and her husband, Oscar, are giving a dinner party. They have invited eight of their oldest and best friends. The guests must be seated at the dinner table according to the following rules...." By Doug Dorst

Girl and Marble Boy (December 29, 1999)
"Nina Logan stood facing the masterpiece. Its nakedness had unnerved the Lauras. Its beauty had been lost on the twins. Its politics had left the potheads cold. Its pose had sent her mother off on a mysterious errand." By Edith Pearlman

Dreams of the Old Green Man (November 17, 1999)
"Death wore plaid green knickers and a large silver pocket-watch that made a sound like a lumberjack cutting down a tree. I knew if he kissed me I would die." By Poe Ballantine

Be Here Now (October 20, 1999)
"Everyone knows that misery is messy. But happiness, Alice thought, is messy too. Dense, busy. Weed-studded." By Lisa Zeidner

The Bell Rope (September 22, 1999)
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I don't want to cause any trouble, no parent should have to go through this, death of a child is a cruel thing." By M. J. Clement

Everyone Please Be Careful (August 25, 1999)
"He's more than a pet, my baby, less than an actual socialized man." By Lucia Nevai

Fundamentals of Communication (July 28, 1999)
"Communications is not my field. I teach Fundamentals of Acting I and II. I used to do the Dramatic Monologue, alternating semesters with Advanced Improvisation." By Thisbe Nissen

Vigil (June 23, 1999)
"I had a fool thought -- probably due to that pill, because I could feel it coming over me pretty strong now. I thought that she'd lived a good long life and for that reason she'd been chosen to take Bonnie's place." By David Gates

Meredith Toop Evans & His Butty, Ernie the Egg (May 26, 1999)
"The hens have been my livelihood, but this have not always been so. Once I was to be a teacher, then a collier, then dead underground, then dead from a bullet in the Great War." By Alex Keegan

Introducing Unbound Fiction (May 26, 1999)
A note from Katherine Guckenberger, Atlantic Unbound's fiction editor.


Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.