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January 2010

Long Story Short: International Flash Fiction

Image: Joshua Meyer, Makings of the Sun (detail), 2008, 30 x 30 inches, oil on canvas

This month we cut to the chase with the telescoped narratives known as flash fiction. Here flash translates to both speed and illumination, as writers focus on the telling moment. The form’s popularity in Latin America is represented with work from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, complemented by snapshots from around the world. Fantastic or realistic, grounded or airborne, these short takes confirm that brevity is the soul of wit. Capture the moment with Yoav Avni, Jose Agualusa, Andrej Blatnik, Pena Cabreira, Horia Gârbea, Quim Monzó, Sergi Pàmies, Alberto Ruy Sánchez, and Ana Maria Shua.

Trumpet Lessons

Now he’s cold and he doesn’t believe it and he’s crying.


Thirty Lines

The writer begins typing cautiously. He has to write a short story.

The Fork

And then, while they’re still standing, taking off their jackets, one of the women accidentally knocks a fork—her own—with her sleeve, causing it to fall to the ground in silence

Father’s Return from War. Topics

Father went to war. Then he died in the war. When our neighbors found out the news, they looked at us, Mother and me, with pity.

If Nothing Else Helps, Read Clarice

I’m afraid of turning on the TV and, like someone going into the Underground at rush hour, of having my intelligence stepped on, whether out of carelessness or malice.


I wake up with an overwhelming urge to cry, but, since today’s going to be a busy day, I decide to cry later.


Normal people fantasize a lot about our work, which is really pretty routine and not at all like what you see in the movies.

Birthday Party

“Silvia wants to show us all a magic trick,” said Mr. Rabbit. “She’s going to make someone disappear!”

From “You Do Understand?”

I lay there with my eyes closed, waiting for my husband to vacate his half of the bed. To go to work, of course.

The Platform

As day dawned in the small town, old Ruschel was already at work assembling the platform, with the care of someone preparing a gallows.

Poetics of Wonder: Things They Say about Mogador

They say that according to the calculations of the most ancient African astronomers, the sun slows down when it passes over Mogador, lingering there more than any other place on the planet.


Book Reviews

Dino Buzzati’s “Poem Strip”

Reviewed by Valentina Zanca

Mario Bellatin’s “Beauty Salon”

Reviewed by Maggie Riggs

Recent Issues

Animal Kingdom

Our Nueva York: Writing the City in Spanish

The Language of Identity: Kaaps Writing from South Africa

Voices on the Verge: Writing from Southeast Asian Creole Languages

The Slow Burn of Inner Chaos: Writing from Malaysia

Backstories: Afro-Italian Women Writers

The Queer Issue XII

Movement and Multiplicity: Writing from Mauritania

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