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FICTION: All Scenes Lead to Each Other

As part of a 1957 interview in New York City on the late-night radio program 'Night People' hosted by Jean Sheperd, a young actor and denizen of the city's underground theater expresses his disappointment with the most recent Hollywood film he has just been brought onto the show to promote; claiming—as an honest challenge to the audience—that all it would take was a dollar sent to the studio from everyone who happened to be listening at that instant, and with that money he could direct a different kind of film outside of Hollywood about real people and the issues that actually mattered.

Back to Eden

“Hope is a curse, a bane,” radical environmentalist Derrick Jensen has written. Why the pessimism?

Fiction: Collective Memory

The Book of Words, first published in German in 2005 and translated into English by Susan Bernofsky, is entirely a work of fiction, and given a veiled, unnamed setting that is most likely Argentina, a place where German immigrants happen to have settled for over 100 years and where Perón’s administration allegedly gave safe haven to war criminals.

Nonfiction: Brooklyn in Time and Memory

The collection begins, appropriately, with an immigrant. Lara Vapnyar has just arrived from Moscow, only to find that her new neighborhood, Brighton Beach, is "far more Russian than in real Russia."

Fiction: A Literary Wonderland

A European city abandons all forms of timekeeping and is eventually forgotten by time. An entire island population, exposed to toxic waste, becomes so hypersensitive to light that a slight shock from a doorknob becomes “a splendid miniature lightning storm.”

Nonfiction: Film Fixer, Epic Nectar

Allen Ginsberg, in the epilogue to his photography book, describes his photos as “celestial snapshots in a sacred world, recording certain moments in eternity with a sense of sacramental presence.

In Conversation

Amanda Stern with Lisa Kunik

Sometimes sarcastic, sometimes slapstick, and always entertaining, Amanda Stern is a novelist, ghost writer, curator and host of the Happy Endings Reading Series. Spiked with Kurt Cobain charisma, her book The Long Haul has been compared to the writing of Denis Johnson, Rick Moody and Leslie Schwartz.

Poetry Roundup

Edward Field, After the FallMatthea Harvey, Modern LifeDavid Shapiro, New and Selected Poems (1965—2006)

Prose Roundup

Wanda Coleman, Jazz & Twelve O’Clock Tales, Black Sparrow Press (2008) Diane Williams, It Was Like My Trying to Have a Tender-Hearted Nature (FC2, 2007) Chavisa Woods, Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind (Fly by Night Press, 2008) Juliana Spahr, The Transformations (Atelos, 2007)


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 07-JAN 08

All Issues