at Length

You are viewing: Prose

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.

Seal Wife

A sea lion sheds her skin and takes a human husband, confronting in innocence the terrors of evolution. By Amy Parker.

The Showrunner

A hit show, a teenage star, the arc of fame, the walk of shame: A bitterly funny Hollywood fable by Frankie Thomas.