Monday, October 16, 2006

LitMag Wave: Redivider

I’d heard good things about Redivider so I picked up a copy. The publication is run by MFA students at Emerson College and I have to say they do a good job.

The first story in the issue is Tourism by Pauls Toutonghi, which you can read online. The story isn’t quite “Hills Like White Elephants,” but it does involve a tense conversation between an American couple in Europe, except in this case the story is all in the woman’s point of view and it isn’t about pregnancy and abortion. Okay, it’s nothing like the Hemingway story.
“Real gigolos hang out at the post office. Or at least the café closest to the post office, a café with an unobstructed view of the post office front door.”
This is because women who might have need of their services have reason to frequent the post office. It’s an enjoyable read. (According to his website, by the way, Toutonghi has published a novel and recently sold his second, so I’ll be looking for those.)

“Odds Even Odds” by Tom Stoner is thoroughly engaging and has more of a plot than you often see in short stories. Tye and Jack are struggling grad students, with the pressures of their studies made worse by the presence of Elle, Tye’s pregnant and psychotic sister. Things go from bad to worse, Elle blows up and . . . Tye and Jack pick up the pieces. I enjoyed this one a lot and will be looking for more of Stoner’s stories.
“Before her sister moved in, Tye composed at home. The apartment was tidy and workable—pages of math and manuscripts in compatible stacks. I did my best thinking sitting on the bed with my laptop while Tye played her piano in the other room. We called it Dualing Keyboards. We were together and content, we were evenly balanced.”

I should also mention “The Wall of Sequoias” by Urban Waite, my fellow Gilmorean from Bread Loaf this summer. Two brothers are with their father at the family’s cabin in the Sierras, while the mother stays mostly home in Long Beach. The story manages—I was very happy to see—to defeat expectations. Twice. Because it didn’t go where I thought it was going, and the ending was far more satisfying as a result.
“My mother did not like the sierras very much. They were too far away, dirty, hot, and dangerous. She would say this standing in the kitchen after having driven three hours up from Long Beach, her hair in a bun and small lines of sweat coming down over her temples and neck. I sometimes got the impression she was not talking about the Sierras but about my father, the cabin, or when it applied, us.”

There’s more: “Slut” by Jennifer Gravely is fun, concise story of a girl with an “ugly-girl” complex, and there are two interesting interviews. The first is with Antonya Nelson and the second, online, is with Kelly Link. I’ll be looking forward to the next issue of this magazine.

Next up: Zoetrope-All Story

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