Electric Literature no. 1 (Summer 2009)

I just read the first issue of Electric Literature, a periodical containing five great pieces of new writing.

There's a Jim Shepard story about Swiss avalanche researchers in the 1930s -- it already sounds like a Jim Shepard story, doesn't it? A convoluted, self-doubting account of hopeless endeavor, humorous yet devastating in Shepard's best manner.

There's one from Diana Wagman, about a one-breasted woman, that will leave you uncertain whether to laugh or cry.

T. Cooper contributes a furious, touching story about jealousy.

There's an excerpt -- a history of the relationship between two brothers -- from Michael Cunningham's novel-in-progress Olympia, which judging from this excerpt may well prove to be a masterpiece.

And a brilliant Lydia Millet story that gets inside the heart of an über-professional dogwalker.

Not only is this state-of-the-art fiction, but the editors have really thought through the question of distribution -- you have the choice of acquiring this magazine in the form of an e-book, or on your iPhone, or as a print-on-demand paperback. Electric Literature will make you freshly optimistic about the future of the literary magazine.

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