Month: February 2019

TCR Talks with Helene Stapinski

BY: Lindsay jamieson

Helene Stapinski is a best-selling author of three memoirs: Five Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History, which has been made into a documentary; Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair with Music; and her latest, Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies, including Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up. Helene has written extensively for the New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Time magazine, the Washington Post, and dozens of other newspapers and blogs. She’s been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and The Today Show and has performed on the Moth’s main stage.

The Coachella Review recently sat down with Stapinski to discuss her impressive and unusual career trajectory and her obsession with her criminal family—featured first in Five Finger Discount, which revolves around her grandfather’s misdeeds in Jersey City, New Jersey, where Stapinski was raised, then again in Murder in Matera, in which she travels farther back in time to Basilicata, southern Italy, from where her great-great-grandmother immigrated after being involved in a murder.

Read More

The Farmers in the Fields

BY: Ziaul Moid Khan

“Is it my right to snatch food from their hands?” I asked myself. The answer was a lone, long silence. This family had done a lot to get me here, at this position. Not that I was super rich and all that, but at least I was just above a hand-to-mouth condition. They were still there, squaring their shoulders with the same grinding poverty.

Read More

The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots: Putting the Period in a Period Piece

By: Pallavi yetur

As the Oscars approach, the clear message is that among 2018’s films about lady English monarchs, The Favourite was the favorite. With ten nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, the film was director Yorgos Lanthimos applying his signature darkly comedic treatment to the story of a crumbling Queen Anne and the two women eager to pick up her pieces. By comparison, The Favourite’s royal counterpart, Josie Rourke’s Mary Queen of Scots, was snubbed, handed the obligatory, though undoubtedly well-deserved, nominations in the hair, makeup, and costume categories.

Read More

She who was on her way

by: Kate scholl

She’ll be coming round the mountain
She’ll be coming
She’s on her way
Did she call first?

She’s hatching
from a round mountain, an egg

She was oblivious
She knew who she was, didn’t she?
When did she figure it out?
Indeed, but she did
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she’s ready
and when she is, when she does…

Read More

TCR Talks with Elizabeth Crane

BY: Jaime Parker Stickle

Elizabeth Crane is the author of such novels as We Only Know So Much and The History of Great Things. She has a unique, honest, and quirky voice, and you’ll relate to her characters, even those at odds with each other, recognizing them as friends or family. Crane’s writing is addictive in all the best ways.

When film director/writer/producer Donald Lardner Ward suggested Crane adapt her novel We Only Know So Much into a screenplay, she did. The result is an award-winning film.

The Coachella Review had the great pleasure of sitting down with Elizabeth Crane to discuss the process of adapting her novel into a screenplay, and what book and film fans can expect from Crane in the future.

Read More


BY: Daniel Edward Moore

After death leaves its stinger
buzzing in my head
don’t let the hive of a million lies
tempt you with their honey.

If everlasting, the cruelest word
is used to describe my absence,
erasing me with a pencil’s head
chewed by the mouth of god,

tell them I wrote nature poems,
about the nature of passing,
tell them they have holes in their souls
the shape of a hornet’s heart.

Read More

Lee Martin’s The Mutual UFO Network

by: A.m. Larks

To assume that Lee Martin is writing about little green men and flying saucers would be a faux pas, but Martin is writing about things that are no less alien to us: our fellow human beings. The Mutual UFO Network explores the complexity of human relationships, which is as terrifying, strange, and incomprehensible as any extraterrestrial lifeform.

Martin’s focus is rooted in the terrestrial and focuses on life in, what is for some people, an alien world: the country. This collection is set in many of those “flyover” states that are often eschewed by the coasts. And while Martin uses the stereotypical country vernacular that belies old-fashioned values, he does not turn a blind eye to the heartbreak, hard times, and tragedy that coexist with that vernacular. The world of The Mutual UFO Network is as full of farmers and hunters as it is with meth-head sons and cheating spouses. It would be a grievous error to see it only as a collection filled with idyllic country folk leading a life punctuated by anecdotal sayings.

Read More

Toss of the Dice (Excerpt)

David L. Saffan


DOUG 20 years old, a college student

JEFF 20 years old, a college student

CHUCK 21 years old, a college student

STEVE 19 years old, a college student

HANK 21 years old, a college student

LINDA 20 years old, a college student, Doug’s girlfriend

GUNG-HO (JOHN) 20 years old, a college student

PLACE: The small off-campus apartment that Doug and Jeff share at a college in the Midwest

TIME: Monday night, December 1, 1969


VOICE 1 FROM TV: … and in Washington today a White House spokesman said that President Nixon’s goal to reduce the number of American troops in South Vietnam to 484,000 by the end of the year had been met and exceeded, with the current . . .

Read More

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén