Content Tagged ‘astoria to zion’

Holiday Subscription Offer

Still in search of last-minute holiday gifts for your bookish family members and friends? We’ve got you covered.

When you purchase a one-year, two-issue subscription to Ecotone, we’ll throw in a copy of our forthcoming best of Ecotone fiction anthology, Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade. The total for this three-title package? Just $25!

The two-issue subscription—normally $16.95—will begin with issue 16, which is devoted to the theme of migration—work that engages a broad sense of motion, memory, journeys, and movement in thought. Among many others, it features Jim Shepard, Angela Carter, Molly Antopol, Cary Holladay, Hailey Leithauser, and Luis Alberto Urrea.

Both the migration issue and Astoria to Zion—$18.95 retail—will arrive in early 2014 in a single package, and the next issue of Ecotone will arrive in fall 2014. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Place your order today, and we’ll even email you a set of PDF-writable  gift cards you can send to the lucky recipient, just in time for the holidays.

Need more incentive?

Salman Rushdie named Ecotone one of a handful of journals on which “the health of the American short story depends.” And in his foreword to Astoria to Zion, Ben Fountain writes, “Ecotone defines itself as the magazine for reimagining place, a claim that deserves to be applauded as a rare instance of truth in contemporary advertising. In an age where place has never seemed more tenuous and abstract, it’s hard to conceive of a more relevant mission for a literary magazine.”

Anthology contributors include Steve Almond, Rick Bass, Ron Rash, Edith Pearlman, and Brad Watson, as well as important emerging voices Lauren Groff, Ben Stroud, and Kevin Wilson.

Place your order today, because this offer won’t last long!

First Paragraph from “That Winter” by Miha Mazzini

“The prisoners released before me had flown home from The Hague in airplanes sent for them by their states. I was the first one who wasn’t a national hero. The guard just handed me a train ticket to Sarajevo and some pocket money for travel expenses. I greeted him with ‘Tot ziens’ and he answered with "Tot nooit, hopelijk!’—an unsubtle indication he didn’t want to see me again.”

—Miha Mazzini

Excerpted from “That Winter” from Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade. Copyright © 2014 by University of North Carolina Wilmington. Used by permission of Lookout Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Introducing “Broadax Inc.” by Bill Roorbach

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One thing I tend to dwell on while reading is language. An author’s language is his music; it carries the story across the page in rhythms, fluctuating in tempos between and within sentences. Language creates texture. So I was thrilled to read “Broadax Inc.” from Bill Roorbach, an author whose language has carried me before. Roorbach writes:

“We liked each other fine, had a nice lunch after the court date that had sundered our marriage, went home and made love for two hours (effects of wine)—we’d never lost our lust for each other, a kind of proof of the divorce: it wasn’t about your everyday death-of-sex issues, but about a lack of love between us. I don’t remember being sad, though I must have been.”

The reader feels the pile of language, compounding detail until the speaker evaluates himself. This piling guides the reader through the sentences, as the speaker moves through the ended marriage, until the evaluation is completed on a calm, but total, note. This stimulating use of language exists throughout “Broadax Inc.”

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First Paragraph from “A Birth in the Woods” by Kevin Wilson

“He had been warned that there would be blood.

Caleb’s mother had told him in their daily lessons, ‘No one is actually hurt. Blood doesn’t necessarily mean pain.’ She showed him a drawing of a baby floating in space, connected to the placenta. ‘The baby may be bloody when it comes out, but it isn’t bleeding. We’ll wash him off , wash the sheets and towels, and you won’t even remember it.’ Since his parents had decided that Caleb, six years old, would assist with the birth, he found an unending list of questions for his mother to consider. When he asked if there had been a lot of blood when he was born, his mother shook her head. ‘You were easy,’ she said. ‘You were so easy.’ ”

—Kevin Wilson

Excerpted from “A Birth in the Woods” from Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade. Copyright © 2014 by University of North Carolina Wilmington. Used by permission of Lookout Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

Introducing “A Birth in the Woods” by Kevin Wilson

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I read a lot of short fiction. I like most of it just fine. Someone’s marriage is in peril. Someone’s job is in peril. Something is said at dinner that sends all of the protagonist’s regrets and mistakes and losses bubbling up to the surface. The story ends and I’m more or less satisfied; I’ve been taken on a short trip into the lives of others by a competent and caring writer, someone acutely aware of life’s precious intricacies, someone with an eye for the things worth seeing, but that are so often overlooked.

But then I close the book or the journal and the story becomes nothing more than that generic three sentence summary I gave in the previous paragraph. The story is gone.

Kevin Wilson’s “A Birth in the Woods,” originally published in Ecotone 6.2, is no such piece of short fiction. It lingers. It demands your attention from the first line—“He had been warned that there would be blood”—and continues to demand it long after the final period.

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First Paragraph from “Alamo Plaza” by Brad Watson

“The road to the coast was a long, steamy corridor of leaves. Narrow bridges over brush-choked creeks. Our father drove, the windows down, wind whipping his thick black hair. Our mother’s hair, abundant and auburn and long and wavy, she’d tried to tame beneath a pretty blue scarf. He wore a pair of black Ray-Bans. She wore prescription shades with the swept and pointed ends of the day. He whistled crooner songs and smoked Winstons, and early as it was, no one really talked.”

—Brad Watson

Excerpted from “Alamo Plaza” from Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade. Copyright © 2014 by University of North Carolina Wilmington. Used by permission of Lookout Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Cyber Monday: Ecotone subscription + Astoria to Zion bundle

Stumped on what to buy your most literary, well-read family members and friends for the holidays? When you purchase a one-year, two-issue subscription to Ecotone, we’ll throw in a copy of our forthcoming best of Ecotone fiction anthology, Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade. The total for this literary package? Just $25!

The two-issue subscription—normally $16.95—will begin with issue 16, which is devoted to human and animal migration, as well as work that engages the theme in a broader sense of motion, memory, journeys, and movement in thought. Among many others, it features Jim Shepard, Angela Carter, Molly Antopol, Cary Holladay, Hailey Leithauser, and Luis Alberto Urrea.

Both the migration issue and Astoria to Zion—$18.95 retail—will arrive in early 2014 in a single package. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Place your order today, and we’ll even email you a printable gift card you can send to the lucky recipient, just in time for the holidays.

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Introducing “The Ranger Queen of Sulphur” by Stephanie Soileau

Stephanie Soileau’s “The Ranger Queen of Sulphur” is a masterful exploration of the traps we see and unwittingly set for ourselves when we accept too many limitations.

I grew up in a small decaying town, and I know the feeling of being trapped, the sense of having no options, that can prevail in these areas. Stephanie Soileau’s “The Ranger Queen of Sulphur” is set in one of these towns—Sulphur, Louisiana—and tells the story of Deana, a young woman in her mid-twenties who has eschewed self-improvement all her life and is now trapped in a low-paying, exploitative job she hates. Never one to hope for herself, Deana fixates on helping her brother, Jonathan, overcome his obesity.

The language of the piece is simple and straightforward, perfectly capturing Deana’s thoughts, and the bleak, hopeless atmosphere, without sacrificing art or lyricism. The sentences have a quiet rhythm, forlorn and practical, yet musical. Each scene too is well-drawn, giving a sense of completeness and desolation.

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First Paragraph from “Leap” by Marisa Silver

“The girls were manning a lemonade stand—a medium-size Dixie cup for fifty cents, or a cup with a Hydrox cookie for seventy-five. Sheila, her older sister Trudy, and Maggie and Jeannie, ten-year-old twins who lived down the street, sat on folding chairs behind the small card table the twins’ mother had loaned them. The backs of Sheila’s thighs burned from the heat trapped in the metal of the chair. She wore culottes, a combination of a miniskirt and shorts. Sometimes she thought of the outfit in the opposite way, as shorts mixed with a miniskirt. But today it was the first version because Maggie and Jeannie were both younger, and because, for once, Trudy was not pressing down on Sheila’s soul as she were a thumbtack.”

—Marisa Silver

Excerpted from “Leap” from Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk
and Abandon from
Ecotone’s First Decade. Copyright © 2014 by University of North Carolina Wilmington. Used by permission of Lookout Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Introducing “The Year of Silence” by Kevin Brockmeier

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I am a person who has spent a good deal of time in loud, crowded cities all over the world, and an almost equal amount of time in rural areas where the silence is sometimes so heavy that breathing it in feels almost like smoke. I have always had a complicated relationship with sound; I am easily distracted and prefer silence, but I can’t go more than a few months without needing to clear my head in the all-consuming noise of a big city. When it’s winter, or when I visit friends and family in quiet rural areas, my skin starts to itch after a day or two of quiet.

For this reason, the premise of Kevin Brockmeier’s knockout story “The Year of Silence”—in which a normal, unnamed city begins to fall intermittently, inexplicably silent, then becomes a city its surprisingly contented residents work together to keep silent—was intoxicating to me on a personal, nostalgic level as well as a literary one. It is precisely the kind of strange, conceptual, lyric story that I as a reader am always searching for in literary magazines.

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