New Stories from the Midwest: 2012
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New Stories from the Midwest presents a collection of stories that celebrate an American region too often ignored in discussions about distinctive regional literature. The editors solicited nominations from more than 300 magazines, literary journals, and small presses and narrowed the selection to 19 authors. The stories, written by Midwestern writers or focusing on the Midwest, demonstrate that the quality of fiction from and about the heart of the country rivals that of any other region. Guest editor John McNally introduces the anthology, which features short fiction by Charles Baxter, Dan Chaon, Christopher Mohar, Rebecca Makkai, Lee Martin, and others.
they look, the farther apart they get, the harder it is to hear each other’s voices. Soon the amnesiac is exhausted and sits to nap. When he wakes, he calls out again, but doesn’t hear anything. He and the woman never see each other again. The amnesiac likes to think she got out, that right after they lost touch, she found the exit. More so, he’s happy he has someone to lament, someone to miss. Since the amnesia, he’s longed for this. Even sadness for someone is better than nothing for anyone.
honking behind me. I look in mirror to see man leaning over steering wheel of hatchback. He has both palms raised in air, and mouth is open with very annoyed look. He looks like young college professor maybe. He has tan sport coat and black tie, long brown hair, and wire-rimmed spectacles like John Lennon. “Wang,” Linda says, “are you all right?” I nod because of course this is not a problem. “Do you want to pull over for a minute?” she asks. She is talking to me like I am a child, and I do not
pitch-black space no warmer than the wagon, but sheltered from the force of the wind, if not its howl, exaggerated now by whistling and creaking. She could sense Little Carl moving nearby. “Carl?” she asked, surprised to find that her mouth refused to properly shape the word. “Just a second,” Carl slurred. “Got matches. Just can’t . . .” 122 Brenda K. Marshall “What?” Frances said when Little Carl did not finish his sentence and then did not speak at all. “Can’t get my fingers to work. Hold
and I listened to the somber rumble of those pipes, and I heard Lily draw a deep breath and then let it out as the funeral home came into view. Cars were parked up and down the street, and people were on the sidewalk— women taking men’s arms and walking with ginger steps over the uneven concrete and the leaves that had fallen there, children holding parents’ hands and skipping along because they were too young to understand exactly where they were going. I knew the feeling. My first day without a
into a group of people and have everyone stare because you were who you were and they were who they were, and the difference was something they’d never let you forget. “I can’t go in,” Lily said. She put her face in her hands and started to cry. “I just can’t.” Wink pulled the Mustang in behind the Escalade, which was empty now. The man and woman who had looked us over were nowhere to be seen. “This is your daddy’s laying out,” I told Lily. “This is a day that won’t ever come again. You need to