Litro #117: America


Weekend Archives: Trees by Anthony Doerr

Trees, by Anthony Doerr, was first published in Litro Magazine: Jul 2012. He stops at the supply room window, a floor-to-ceiling sheet of glass, double-paned, six feet wide. The best window in the entire building. Third storey, forty feet up. He has been in here maybe three thousand times and hasn’t noticed this window once. Maybe they’ve stripped it of blinds, or hauled some obscuring shelf away. Read more →

Litro #117: America—Editors’ Letter

America, that slippery beast. One nation, one constitution, one currency: a framework for arguably the most diverse, remarkable and undefinable country in the world. But short stories are something of an American specialty; in 1962 Frank O’Connor described them as America’s national art form, and the roll call—from Cheever, Carver, and Yates to Yiyun Li, ZZ Packer, and Jhumpa Lahiri—is as much an illustration of the changing American imagination as anything else.

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So I was a counselor at a summer camp. Not the kind of camp you see in the movies. It was on an island; stranger still, an island smack in the middle of Boston Harbor. In the nineteenth century it had been an orphanage. There was a quadrangle of old brick buildings, athletic fields, patches of woods, tidal swamp. There was a ropes course and a nature trail and a campfire circle and even a dock with sailboats and canoes. Though no swimming. You can’t have kids swimming in Boston. The summer I worked there three corpses washed up on the beach: one whole, one decapitated, one just a human torso, headless, armless, an oblong chunk of flesh. Read more →

The Night Ridge

I love you. These simple words knock against the inside of his head the same way police knock. Hard. Loveless. I love you. He sits in a backward chair by the window and watches the wide cold river run, trying like hell to remember what it means. The winter sun’s fallen low across the water over Jersey, and soon the sad pastels will bloom behind her skyline. Dusk on these cities, colors of evening, I love you, misplaced colors come to seal, like a fierce rosy paste in the sky, one more day’s end in the life of this thin misplaced soul we’ve found, this stranger at the window. Read more →

A Trip to America

‘Excuse me. Does this train go to Ames?’ Taeko Endo asked a woman reading a newspaper in one of the seats near the door.‘Yes, it does,’ the woman answered, smiling.Taeko thanked her and took the seat across the aisle. She put down her bag of presents and the flowers she’d bought inside the station and relaxed. She was on her way to visit Edward Hunt. He’d been her English teacher at the junior college in Tokyo and she’d been secretly in love with him ever since. Two years earlier, the year she’d graduated, he’d returned to Massachusetts; now she was there to get her bachelor’s degree and to see if she could make him fall in love with her. Read more →

Amboy: A Walk in the Ruins

Amboy is a place in the Mojave desert, about 200 miles east of Los Angeles. I hesitate to call it a town: undoubtedly that’s what it used to be, and maybe once a town is always a town, but right now, and for the twenty years or so that I’ve been visiting, its population wouldn’t qualify it as a village, not even as a hamlet. There are SUVs driving down the freeway with larger populations than Amboy, and the freeway is precisely the reason for Amboy’s demise. Read more →

Listings: July–Nov 2012

Summer Exhibition 2012
Royal Academy of Arts, 04 – 12 August 2012
The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is the largest open contemporary art exhibition in the world, drawing together a wide range of new and recent work by established, unknown and emerging artists. The Summer Exhibition is a unique celebratory showcase for art of all styles and media, encompassing paintings, sculpture, photography, prints, architectural models, film, and artist’s books.

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