The first time I saw Jane I was working at the bike shop, a veritable cacophony of grease and gunk I only survived by occupying my hands. Bikes had a purpose that had nothing to do with me—every part fit together properly so my mind could remain free and unviolated. Her left knee was scrapped, with pieces of pavement lodged in the wound. The sight disrupted my hard-earned equilibrium. I tried not to look, but it was too late. I had already imagined retrieving the bits of bloody gravel from her abrasion and rolling them like candy on my tongue.
At the appointed time, the team members left their rooms and followed Phillip’s directions. They walked down the hallway and up the stairs to a room at the end of the corridor.
“What’s a dinner party without a bit of schadenfreude?”
No one lives every day as the person they want to be. It is rare that a full hour should pass in such a feeling.
The writers on their debut short story collections, artifice as truth, and how music can teach you to write a sentence.
On her debut story collection, happy refugees, and why personal biography isn’t art.
A short story from the collection The Dominant Animal.
The writer on when the short story becomes a novel, writing about the gig economy, and claiming new meanings for words.
When she was twenty, the woman didn’t think much about skydiving at all. It was an exotic concept and felt far from her life as it was, though on her walks to class she passed plenty of women her age wrapped in rigging, practicing their barrel rolls on the soccer field.
Goddamn it to motherfucking hell, she says. I think that ought to cover it, he says. He asks her why she feels the need to swear so much, so deliberately, what depends on it, why it’s so important to her. Why, after so long, she hasn’t grown tired. Worn out in the mouth.
The World Doesn’t Require You, with its fabulist interrogations of American history, imagines a Maryland town founded by members of the only successful American slave revolt.
Winner of BOMB’s 2019 Fiction Contest, selected by Renee Gladman.
He knows where a man’s heart is on display…
They found my mother’s first cousin frozen in a rented cabin up in New Hampshire, not far from where he’d gone to prep school. A smart kid, Bernard enrolled at Harvard on a math scholarship in the fall of 1973.
The writer on his new short story collection, creating realistic characters that don’t always change, and how fatherhood has impacted his relationship to language.