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I'm a Good Liberal Man at a Social Justice Nonprofit, and I Have Advice for My Female Colleague
McSweeney’s Internent Tendency

Hey there, I’m a good liberal man who works at the same social justice nonprofit as you, and I want to have a conversation where I do all of the talking and give you unwanted advice. Look, we both work in this same touchy-feely, do-gooder nonprofit, so we’re all very aware of social structures around gender. Especially me. I have a minor in women’s studies. There’s no way I could be misogynistic in my thoughts or actions.


The Sister
The Other Stories

Nancy was still young the summer her sister disappeared, only eleven, and Mozy just three years older though she looked sixteen.


Where You Come From Is Gone
Midwestern Gothic, Issue 23

Years before the most recent economic recession, when I was a cheerful and imaginative third grader, the auto factories began to blink out across Flint, Saginaw, and Grand Blanc.


Literary Borough: Washington, D.C.
Ploughshares

The Washington, D.C. literary scene is too frequently overshadowed by Washington’s major industry: the federal government.

If I Knew Then What I Know Now by Ryan Van Meter (Review)
Ploughshares

In “First,” the opening essay of Ryan Van Meter’s autobiographical collection, Van Meter’s five-year-old self tells his best friend Ben that he loves him.


I Hotel by Karen Tea Yamashita (Review)
The Collagist

History textbooks have a tendency to simplify social movements of the past, favoring the single-line version of American history

10 Myths About Bookselling
Used Furniture Review

People who think bookselling is low-stress have obviously never worked retail on Black Friday. Any job is going to have high points and low moments; however, when you’re working with the public, it’s impossible to know if the next person who walks up to you is having the best day of his life and will shower you with rainbows and smiles or if he just lost the all-important Schnizicki account at work and is stomping into the bookstore like Godzilla.


The Amazon Two-Step
Used Furniture Review

Call it the Borders effect.Ever since the news of Borders’ closing was announced, it seems I’ve been fielding a single customer question: “Are you closing?”


The Super Nerds
Used Furniture Review

As a nine-year-old book nerd in the Midwest, I spent much of my time reading and writing letters to fake pen pals.



Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan (Review)
Full Stop

Ian McEwan’s most recent novel is one of those seemingly straightforward narratives — a story that is unpacked so subtly over the course of 300 pages that when the twist is finally revealed, the reader immediately turns the book over to flip back through it.


Paper Lantern and Ecstatic Cahoots by Stuart Dybek (Review)
Full Stop

Reading Stuart Dybek’s Paper Lantern: Love Stories should be sold with a warning: do not read if you’re recovering from recent heartbreak. Or, more properly, if you’ve ever experienced heartbreak.


Watch the Doors as They Close by Karen Lillis (Review)
The Collagist

Late in Karen Lillis's novella Watch the Doors as They Close the narrator asks: "What do I really know about Anselm? Only what he told me." This is true of all relationships, of course; what we know of others is only what they willingly divulge.


The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen (Review)
Full Stop

The anxiety of death and dying pervades Grace McCleen’s debut novel The Land of Decoration, and it’s a seemingly strange obsession for a novel narrated by a ten-year-old girl.