The American Boy
BY DANIEL MENDELSOHN
One spring day in 1976, when I was fifteen years old and couldn’t keep my secret any longer, I went into the bedroom I shared with my older brother, sat down at the little oak desk we did our homework on, and began an anguished letter to a total stranger who lived on the other side of the world. More...
The Inheritance of Tools
BY SCOTT RUSSELL SANDERS
At just about the hour when my father died, soon after dawn one February morning when ice coated the windows like cataracts, I banged my thumb with a hammer. Naturally I swore at the hammer, the reckless thing, and in the moment of swearing I thought of what my father would say: "If you'd try hitting the nail it would go in a whole lot faster. Don't you know your thumb's not as hard as that hammer?" More...
BY BRIAN DOYLE
My name is Jacqueline, you can call me Jackie. Until recently you could call me Sargeant. I am now retired from the service. I will be twenty-seven years old on Sunday, at fourteen hundred hours. I was a hematology nurse. I am in good health, considering. I have a dog named Gus. I live near the beach. I drink tea. I learned to love tea in Kirkuk. Some days we had tea ten times a day. We found a samovar and learned how to use it. More...
How I Met My Wife
BY JACK WINTER
It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate. I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array. More...
Think Like a Fish
BY SALVATORE SCIBONA
Unlucky fishermen are all alike: We don’t know how to see. My friend Jud has outfished me in all but one or two of the hundred times we’ve gone to the ocean and bay beaches and kettle ponds on Cape Cod. By both study and exercise, he knows the culture of striped bass better than I know my own nose. But to call him “lucky” would begrudge him a talent that I have never seen in anyone else and that lives underneath skill or knowledge. More...