For the September 1, 2012 Carve Story Spotlight, I look back in time to John Henry Fleming’s “Coward,” which appeared in the winter 2011 issue. A short but affecting piece, “Coward” follows a protagonist who at age six had his father hold a knife to his throat; when he was nine, his father committed suicide, leaving a note to his son to not follow in his footsteps. What follows is a story about cowardice and feigned courage, as well as the ability of the psychically scarred to move on.
By the way, before you read the Story Spotlight, just wanted to give the heads up that you’ll be seeing more of me on the Carve website, as I’ve been asked to contribute more posts in the blog’s “From the Editor” section. So look forward to some Q&As with past Carve authors and relevant news from the publishing world, among many other blog posts to come.
For Carve‘s August 15, 2012 Story Spotlight, I cover Yuvi Zalkow’s fall 2007 story, “When My Body Smashed Into the Sidewalk.” Told in posthumous narration, this surreal story covers the intersecting lives (and deaths) of a man who had jumped off a burning building (a deliberate conjuration of the 9/11 World Trade Center fire and collapse) and the woman who had the misfortune of being in the wrong spot at the right time: The man fell right in front of her, his body’s collision with the ground imprinted in her mind for the rest of her life.
Revisit yet another Carve classic, this one from the spring 2007 issue: Nate House’s “When Snow Falls on Atlantic City.” An old woman, unappreciated in a loveless marriage, steps out of character and finds herself all of a sudden in the “World’s Favorite Playground.”
Acquaint (or re-acquaint) yourself with an oldie but goodie from the Carve archives, “Weekend With the Boy,” from the fall 2007 issue. The charming story, written by the mysteriously mono-named author “Ezra,” focuses on a Sydney artist whose son comes to visit for the weekend. Being so devoutly married to his art, will he make concessions for his own, and very non-abstract, child?
My July 1, 2012 Story Spotlight for Carve focuses on Stephanie Dickinson’s “Hybrid,” a story set in New York about a well-off teenager with an intriguing preoccupation on hybrid cats. This classic Carve piece appeared in the summer 2007 issue.
I continue my bimonthly Story Spotlight teasers for Carve with a review of Shaun Hamill’s “Unpracticed Altitudes.” This delight of a story was a second place prizewinner in the 2010 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest.
In celebration of Gay Pride Month, the Carve blog has just published an article of mine in its From the Editor section called, “A Gay Pride Guide to Carve‘s LGBT-Themed Stories.” In it, I feature the following eight gay and lesbian-themed fiction published by Carve since 2007: