Month: March 2018

Swimming Around the Edges

By: Trevy Thomas

After living in Virginia for a year, I was feeling the loss of friends I’d left behind. Meeting people in my new life was difficult, as I  worked from home alongside my husband in his art business. My human contact was almost exclusively through the Internet, and I felt increasingly lonely.

Not knowing where else to look, I turned to the very computer that was keeping me isolated to search for community. I found a group of women about my age that hosted events somewhat near my home. After participating in the online forums a while, I felt comfortable enough to attend my first gathering: a small lunch at one of the women’s houses.

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Book Review: Geoff Nicholson’s “The Miranda”

By: D.M. Olsen

Some might consider Joe Johnson’s situation a crisis. He just quit his job as a torture expert for a covert government agency called the Team. Joe also just divorced his wife and moved into a remote home three hours north of London, where he intends to walk the circumference of the earth from the privacy of his backyard. He plans to walk a small, circular path twenty-five miles a day for one thousand days. However, as Joe quickly finds out, and as the compelling narrative unfolds, privacy is the last thing afforded by Joe’s new house. He is surrounded by nosy neighbors, a philosophical mailman, and a band of skinheads who invoke a turf war with the veteran torture artist. And, of course, Miranda.

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How a Woman Who Lived in a Windmill Taught Me That I Mattered

By: Tina G. Rubin

I had just landed my first international writing assignment and it was turning out to be a dud. I’d come 5,000 miles to cover one of Holland’s historic windmills, and it wasn’t even working.

“You have to run them weekly, or they deteriorate,” Jaantje Bloembergen told me. But she hadn’t turned hers on in a year.

The April day I parked my car at the windmill Jaantje and her husband had converted into living space, she was in high spirits. Her tangle of gray hair framed a smiling, ruddy face. I took to her immediately.

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TCR Talks with Rebecca Makkai

BY: Kaia Gallagher

Acclaimed by Vanity Fair to be a rising literary star, Rebecca Makkai demonstrates her versatile storytelling ability in Music for Wartime, a collection of 17 stories written over a 13-year period. Reflecting on Makkai’s diverse career, the stories vary in their narrative structure but connect around the central themes of music and war. To tie them together, Makkai has added three oral history accounts shared by her paternal grandmother, Ignacz Rozsa, a famous actress and novelist in Hungary, and her father, Adam Makkai, a Hungarian-born linguist.

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Bill of Fare

By: Susan Olding


Pimento-stuffed olives
Celery with cream cheese
Julienned carrots
Angels on horseback
Pigs in blankets

Your career begins early, before your head even clears the kitchen counter. The crystal dish that your mother places in your hands feels much heavier than you expect. Pressing it to your chest, you look down at your red patent party shoes, nervous you might skid on the kitchen’s vinyl tile or trip on the lip of the living room carpet. Music greets you, music and smoke; clinking ice cubes and the smells of mingled perfumes. The women’s faces glow. Their dresses rustle like the plumage of exotic birds. Like birds, they coo and sing at your offerings, pecking and cooing while watching you with bright eyes. Someday you would like to join their dazzling flock. But for now, you observe them observing you.

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Assholes and Stanky Glitter

By: Arch Jamjun

I have been a server for almost twenty years. When I say that out loud, I feel like a big failure, and when I think about my parents, how they went from being children Sally Struthers might hug to USA professionals, I feel like an even bigger failure. This feeling especially haunted my twenties when, after trying pharmacology, education, nutrition, paralegal studies, nursing, and even accounting, I always found myself inept. Server money has been a big comfort. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you can earn a middle-class income while garbage-mouthing leftover food and guzzling wine you could never afford in half of the above-mentioned careers. But my mom has an interesting perspective: “Oh you are like a food prostitute.” In a sense, that’s true. When you’re a server, you’re constantly thinking, “Am I too old for this?” and I think only sex workers and athletes ponder that as much. Also, when you’re a server, people often ask you, “But what do you really want to do?” And I’m like, “Ummm, be the next Whitney Houston.”

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TCR Talks with Tyler Dilts

By: Felicity Landa

Tyler Dilts spent his childhood investigating police work, hoping to one day follow in his father’s footsteps. Instead, he found himself to be much more interested in writing about crime than pursuing a career solving it and has since become the author of five books on crime fiction, including the Edgar Award nominated, Come Twilight, and the forthcoming, Mercy Dogs. His chilling and sometimes terrifying novels explore the complex and haunted characters of the Long Beach homicide department and the murders they solve. 

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Book Review: Jessica Keener’s “Strangers in Budapest”

by John Flynn-York

Image result for strangers in budapest

In Jessica Keener’s new novel, Strangers in Budapest, the lives of two ex-pat Americans become intertwined in the titular city in the 1990s. Annie is unhappy and shiftless, at loose ends after a move to Budapest with her husband and their young son. Meanwhile, Edward, an elderly man, is in Budapest for one reason only: to find the man he thinks murdered his daughter. When they cross paths, they find common ground in this quest. Edward is a cause Annie can invest her energy into—something she’s been lacking since moving to Budapest. But when she is drawn deeper into Edward’s scheming, she begins to question whether she’s merely helping an old man or abetting his delusions.

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