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A Magic of Bags

“Sometimes, she was sure of it: she would create no family, no children, nothing but herself.” A teenage misfit makes her way in Harlem in “A Magic of Bags,” a story from Mecca Jamilah Sullivan’s forthcoming collection, Blue Talk and Love.

The Long Life Hotel

“She felt an inkling—just the faintest tingle—then, of something gone wrong inside her; a small, vile thing, just beginning to grow.” A mother travels to Vietnam for a favorite son’s wedding in a story by Meaghan Mulholland.

The Big Father Essay

“Whenever I peeked into his room at night, there he lay, open-mouthed, those frightening white feet kicked free of sheets.” Inspired by Joe Brainard, Jeff Oaks invents a form for generating truths.

The Sea Palaces

“Before Liberation, emperors had idled there, among pleasure grounds of lakes and pavilions, and it was said you couldn’t look directly into its gates or your vision would blur.” Third Daughter is recruited for a ballroom dance troupe at the home of the Chairman in this excerpt from Vanessa Hua’s novel-in-progress.

Ghosts of the Mississippi

“Their affection, any love—good or bad—had me. I was the fool for love.” Ben Miller remembers his induction into an exclusive, eccentric group of writers in the prologue to his forthcoming book, River Bend Chronicle: The Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa.


“Our stories delight us intensely, yet often fail us, or come to an end.” An excerpt from The Beauty Experiment, a new memoir by Phoebe Baker Hyde.

No More Chatter

“We grew up without fear, and that taught us we deserved happiness. Now we couldn’t unlearn.” A funeral and a break-in are at the center of a new story by Willie Davis.

Strange Merchants

“When my father encountered his strange merchant in the leather goods shop, he felt free to forge a kind of inside joke with the man. He felt free to belly laugh and drum his fingertips on the counter at the aphorism’s off-color punch line.” Anna Journey considers the closeness of strangers.

Red Clay

“When she slept, she began to dream whole conversations with Charlie. He spoke to her in the same sweet voice as our father’s Nat King Cole albums. In her dreams, he told her secrets of the animal kingdom; he told her his frustrations and he told her, again and again in his beautiful baritone, that he loved her.” A family’s participation in a chimpanzee experiment drives two sisters apart in this novel excerpt from Kaitlyn Greenidge.

The Classics Illustrated Comics Project

Five brand-new comics about adaptation, by Kevin Cannon, Pascal Girard, Melissa Mendes, Andrea Tsurumi, and Noah Van Sciver.