Monday, November 8, 2010

Highlights of The Missouri Review's Recent Issue

The most recent issue of The Missouri Review featured some striking pieces that stuck with me over the last week or so. Highlights:

-Witty and poignant story by Dionne Irving called "Florida Lives." Centers around a Bougie San Franciscan couple who relocate to Florida, where their identities, housing situation and relationship deteriorate. Irving's characters are unlikeable, yet joys to read. For a writer I think this is a difficult thing to pull off. Hats off to Ms. Irving, who also wrote "Poetry," a story published in Carve Magazine written almost entirely in imperatives.

-"Clues to a Lost Woman," a series of Francesca Woodman's photographs accompanied by a short biographical sketch by Kris Somerville. Woodman is an unfamous photographer who committed suicide in the early eighties at the age of 22. Rather than discussing the suicide, the article touches upon her short life and exhibits the haunting pictures that Woodman staged. Her black-and-whites are set against the Gothic backdrops of abandoned and near-empty houses, where Woodman herself often appears as a blurry or covered figure. I loved seeing, and reading about, her obscure body of work.

-"Bard of the Bottle" by Michael White, a stunning essay about the writer's extraordinary relationship to barfly/ poet/ professor Tom McAfee back when White was a bartender/ college dropout.

-a copacetic interview with Aimee Bender about her latest book.

Anyway, these things tickled my fancy and made the magazine worth buying and reading. Thought I'd share.

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