"The Moan" by David Ryan

"The Moan" by David Ryan

by David Ryan

Some of the boxes aren’t hers. It’s some mix-up with the movers. But it’s unclear how they couldn’t be. Could she simply have forgotten the things inside them? She’s begun seeing her life as a story lately—one from which she has stepped back as certain narrative threads, once her own, wind their way along without her. It’s a certain age she’s experiencing. The story of her life, its narrator drifting, as if away from her. These boxes, I mean, some of them. This one with the dolls. She’s never seen these dolls. There must be a perfectly good explanation. It’s not that she can’t recall. No. It can’t be that.

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Varieties of Estrangement, Intro

Varieties of Estrangement, Intro

by J.T. Price

Let us ask ourselves, Is there not already enough estrangement in the world? Sometimes, though, the familiar feels all too suffocating. Sometimes, we long for change. And no change comes without estrangement, of distancing from who or what we were … whether or not we recognize as much in the moment of its happening. Dante in the dark wood; Isabel Archer betrothed to Osmond in Rome; Ruthie and Lucille keeping house under the half-watchful eye of their aunt Sylvie; Benjamin Braddock floating in his parents’ pool; Ryder the famous pianist sidetracked from a crowning hometown performance by obligation after obligation

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The opening to Pingmei Lan's "Cicadas and the Dead Chairman"

The opening to Pingmei Lan's "Cicadas and the Dead Chairman"

by Pingmei Lan

That summer when Chairman Mao died I saw a funeral for the first time, a national one. It had gone on for weeks. Everywhere I turned people were wearing black armbands and making white paper flowers. The usual sea of blue Mao suits seemed to be foaming, churning, shaping into dark and light swells. Thousands of mourning wreaths blanketed Tiananmen Square, eventually spilling down to the sidewalks of Chang’an Avenue. For days, then weeks, it looked like snow in summer.

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