All the books on my nightstand have had it with my lackadaisical attitude. It's spring, they say, and time to finish what I've started. Which means one and three-fifths issues of American Short Fiction (Spring 2009, with Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Yoon, Smith Henderson, Rachel B. Glazer, Amelia Gray, Kim Chinquee, Joe Wenderoth, Desmond Hogan and Evan Rehill; and for kicks Spring/Summer 08's "Peripatetic Coffin" by Ethan Rutherford, and Karl Taro Greenfield's "Now Trends"--both ASF pieces having been nominated for Best American Short Fiction 2009. A third piece in that issue I've been holding off for too long: Scott Blackwood's "It Will Pass Though Us," an excerpt from his We Agreed to Meet Just Here, which snagged the 2007 AWP Prize for the novel.)
Also there in the pile: Delia Falconer's Lost Thoughts of Soldiers, which Jim Harrison has called in 2006 "[a] splendid and absorbing novel" and which Los Angeles Times assures me will be "the lushest, most daringly poetic book [I] will read this year." Suh-weet, I say. Bring it.
There's also Percival Everett's Erasure, which, if that crystal ball, the AP wire, is correct, Angela Bassett is currently filming for her directorial debut.
To the side of that newly dusted, welcoming foursome sits the rumpled mother of all spring projects, Anna Karenina (The Modern Library Classics edition translated by Constance Garnett, and revised-translated by Loenard J. Kent and Nina Berborova). Tolstoy's first line gets me every time: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Oh mid-March. Thank Ides you've arrived.
-Stacy Muszynski, copy editor