Here are a few short stories, interviews, and reviews, most of which have absolutely nothing to do with love, to read this Valentine’s Day weekend!!
In We Contain Multitudes, Andrew Rose interviews trans author Thomas Page McBee (Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness, and Becoming a Man) about his female to male transition and how his views on masculinity and male culture have evolved. The interview eloquently explores the conundrum of “how to be a man” both from McBee’s individual experience/perspective and from a broader societal context. In Guernica.
This short story, The Case for Psychic Distance, by Jennifer Hanno, is about writing, studying writing, and the process of honing a craft. Wait. It definitely isn’t about that at all. In Ploughshares.
How to Write a Dance, by Anna Heyward, briefly explores the history of, exactly as the title suggests, how to write a dance. Before the advent of film, choreographers struggled to create written systems by which dances could later be interpreted and reproduced. Though likely pretty pointless in many ways due to their incomprehensibleness, these “dance languages” nevertheless highlight the importance of a communicative/interpretive relationship between choreographer and dancer. In The Paris Review.
I love Lydia Davis. Cool Confessions is a review by Maggie Doherty of Lydia Davis’ latest collection, Can’t and Won’t. Through comparison with her earlier work, Doherty positions Can’t and Won’t as a testament to Davis’ growth both as a writer and as a literary voice for the female perspective. In n+1.
Here’s a great little short story, The Big Woman, by Madeline Ffitch, in Tinhouse. In it, Marcus patiently awaits the coming of the “big woman” of his dreams. “Marcus had no wife, but a wife was what he wanted, and he knew that one day a big woman would walk out of the woods, out of the gathering darkness, and claim him. So he had bought a small piece of land and a goat.”
So, in the interest of spreading some Valentine’s Day cheer, here’s a review of I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories, by Michael Czyzniejewski. “Heartbreak delivered by a few dozen tiny paper cuts.” From Kirkus Reviews.