New Issue of Storyglossia

I learned from Matt Bell’s blog that the new issue of Storyglossia is up. I recommend reading Steven J. McDermott’s introduction — it’s surprisingly moving:

Having read, during the selection and the publication process, each of these stories a half-dozen times or more, I can say that they have restored my faith in literature’s ability to change, if not the world, at least one’s perspective. Read these stories and see if they don’t change yours, too.

I haven’t made the way through all the stories yet, but, so far, the issue lives up to the promise I felt from reading the introduction. Try Sara Flannery Murphy’s “The Pretty Faces.” This story has the vivid characterization that I’m beginning to think of as a trademark of Storyglossia:

The Pretty Faces wear nametags saying so in place of their names, but they don’t need to. When the campers line up (an even dozen this year), already in their yellow shorts and Camp Phoenix t-shirts, the Pretty Faces are the ones who make me feel all at once ugly. The rest of the campers look at Sunshine and me with the spooked, liquiescent eyes of animals, but the two Pretty Faces look at us and bite down yawns. They’re the kind of fat girls who baffled me in middle school. Their fatness is a single flaw, crowded into near-irrelevance by their high cheekbones, their pin-straight hair, their lashes dense as fur, their expensive ruby-red manicures. They’re the kind of fat girls who get asked to winter formal and have the luxury of turning the boys down.


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