I gave up feeling guilty if I didn’t have a chance to read every single page of every single literary journal that crosses my path, but Shenandoah’s new issue (Spring/Summer 2009) is making me want to linger over every page.
--“House Tour” by Lee Smith, a funny and sad story about a woman who ends up with a group of “red hat ladies” who mistakenly think her rambling, falling-apart house is on the town’s annual house tour. Oh, and the narrator has not told anyone for several months that her husband has left her for another woman. Oops! Quite a bit to see on this “tour.”
--“Imaginary Tucson” by Geoffrey Becker. In this short story, Joe and Kate are young and in love and in academia, which means two cruddy jobs in two different locations. Sensitive, beautifully-observed, and funny (MLA anyone?).
--“Revelation” by Jessica Treadway. Tessa is getting mysterious notes quoting the Book of Revelation. A stalker or her ex-boyfriend? Does it matter? Maybe it does, since she doesn’t seem to want a restraining order to stop the notes.
And I don’t want to neglect the poetry here:
--“Fear of Giants” by Philip Belcher, which was inspired by Diane Arbus’s photograph, A Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents in the Bronx, N.N., 1970 (Check out the photograph here.)
--“Betrayal” by Andrea Hollander Budy, a chilling, concise exploration of marriage.
--“A Thousand Reasons” by Mark Sanders that asks, “What is there not to love?”
All this and more, inside a sharp-looking cover with a painting by Billy Edd Wheeler. For more information about Shenandoah (including subscription info), go here.