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Fiction: Supersincero

In the final story of Charles Yu’s collection of short stories entitled Third Class Superhero, the narrator laments that “Someone has beaten me to the punch and I am left to find another way to tell the story…” Yu has clearly succeeded in finding new ways in this debut collection.

Fiction: The Land Without A People

Susan Abulhawa’s timely, fact-based novel, The Scar of David, asks a profound question: Why have the Palestinians been forced to pay for the Jewish Holocaust? The piece resonates with compassion, not only for Palestine, but for the millions who died in the Holocaust.

Poetry: Mourning & The Female Voice

Alice Notley’s newest collection of poems, Alma, or The Dead Women, is a pure expression of rage and grief. It is a direct response to the rise of international violence following the events of September 11, but it does more than mourn the deaths of soldiers and citizens—it defines the Iraq war as the product of an inherently violent, phallocentric culture.

Poetry: Innerture

Robert Hershon’s twelfth collection of poems, Calls from the Outside World, teems with voyeurism, absurdities, and keen inquiries exploring both interior and exterior climates. It takes a look at language, the appearance of a word, and the scenario where a word is introduced, albeit sarcastically.

Poetry: “A Urinal I Invite You To Hang On Your Wall”

Since James Thomas’ Sudden Fiction anthology was launched in 1980, flash fiction has at least made guest appearances in established literary journals. Now, with the proliferation of online sites and printed journals, flash fiction has inundated the desks of editors.

Film: Losing the Thread

Only after cinema has freed itself from linear narrative can it do justice to the multifaceted and fluid phenomenon we define as reality. Or so goes the premise of Doug Aitken’s alternately frustrating and fascinating book, Broken Screen.

Politics: Root of All “Isms”

Carnage in Iraq, high water in New Orleans: the twin disasters of George W. Bush’s second term. Both remind us of the perils of bureaucratic incompetence, of a laissez-faire attitude towards earth-shaking events, and of governance without foresight.

Culture: Bitching About Gender

Female facial hair, the politics of urination, gay parenting, the racial segregation of prime-time comedy, the gender bias of science—since the mid-nineties, the pages of feminist ’zine-turned-magazine Bitch have been witness to some of the past decade’s most creative indie cultural criticism about the intersections of pop culture, gender, and sexuality.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2006

All Issues