Master of Horror To-Be: On the Nightmares of Nick Antosca

Master of Horror To-Be: On the Nightmares of Nick Antosca

by Zack Graham

You probably haven’t heard of Nick Antosca, but you will soon. He wrote on one of the most psychologically nuanced and visually arresting television series ever in “Hannibal.” In late 2017, Guillermo del Toro signed on to produce Antosca’s feature-length script Antlers. At 36, Antosca is well on his way to becoming a modern master of horror, on par with a Robert Eggers, an Ari Aster, or a Jordan Peele.

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All Horrors Under the Midnight Sun: On Nesbø’s KNIFE

All Horrors Under the Midnight Sun: On Nesbø’s KNIFE

by Tess Crain

Everyone in Oslo has a parquet floor. This is what I’ve gathered, anyway, from reading the crime fiction of Jo Nesbø. While Nesbø has written standalone novels (like the excellent Headhunters and The Son), parquetry is general throughout his Harry Hole (“whoule” in Norwegian; how it looks in English) series, about the brilliant but polarizing Oslo Police detective, distinguished by his alcoholism and hail-mary competence. Two sentences into The Devil’s Star, water leaves “a wet streak over the oak parquet” of an apartment. In Nemesis, a thief’s shoes click loudly on the parquet flooring of a bank. A doctor in The Redbreast gazes sadly at “the worn parquet floor” of his office.

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Upstate Dispatch: Which One Were You?

Upstate Dispatch: Which One Were You?

by Harris Lahti

As I drive, the country highway’s pattern of overgrown campgrounds, boarded-up motels, and stretches of impenetrably dark woods begin to resemble a series of horror movie sets, at last punctuated by a white-steepled church illuminated with halogen lights. I pull into the parking lot the church shares with an enormous prefab building of black corrugated steel. Skate Time.

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With THE NICKEL BOYS, Colson Whitehead Yet Again Proves His Brilliance

With THE NICKEL BOYS, Colson Whitehead Yet Again Proves His Brilliance

by Zack Graham


One of the most talented American novelists of his generation, Colson Whitehead’s nine books constitute about as diverse a body of work as any living writer’s. His settings include a post-apocalyptic zombie attack, an American slave plantation in the 1700s, the mid-’80s Hampton’s, and the modern World Poker Tour. He is the recipient of nearly every serious literary award and/or honor known to mankind, and his essays and stories have appeared in every leading English-language newspaper and magazine. The man is a national treasure.

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The Ways In Which We Borrow

The Ways In Which We Borrow

by Robb Todd

There is trouble on the street tonight. Had a premonition that she should not go alone. She caught me stealing once when I was five. I enjoy stealing. It is as simple as that. It is just a simple fact. Because mutiny on the bounty is what we are all about. We are going to board your ship and turn it on out. 

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We Had a Fête & O What a Glorious Fête It Was

We had our annual Summer Fête on Thursday, June 6th, 2019, at The William Vale, with honoree Gary Shteyngart and guest editor of the 15th anniversary issue Alex Gilvarry. Our sincere thanks to all who made it out in support of the journal; it was our most successful benefit to date.

Epiphany lives.

A necessarily hopscotch survey of the revelry follows, with comments from our intrepid interns below. All photos by Tim Draper.

Before June 6, I had never before attended a fête, much less worked at one. But it was such a pleasure to help organize and set up for the open-air event in the company of fellow literature-lovers and a beautiful New York City view. From setting up the auction items to manning the donations table, I interacted with so many kind and interesting people, invested in words and the work of Epiphany. I also really enjoyed hearing the various readings and the comments of Gary Shteyngart! Overall, I would say the evening was a combination of delectable hors d'oeuvres and great conversation—what more could one ask for? — Anita Sheih

My first Epiphany fête was a night of food and drink and mingling and great views of Manhattan. But the most striking aspect of the celebration was the fact that every person there seemed to be united in appreciation for the mission of Epiphany and the work of its writers. Every attendee, from the Epiphany staff and board to the guests to the readers, and even our honoree Gary Shteyngart, mentioned their love of Epiphany, whether to me in conversation or in a speech to the crowd. This, it seems to me, is the essence of the journal— an undoubtedly great party, fueled by love of literature. — Eleanor Stern

It was a perfect New York night for a rooftop celebration — gentle breeze, warm weather, and stacks of books everywhere. Pulling off such a successful event was not easy, but it was only possible because of our wonderful guests. Even though my internship has just recently begun, the amount of effort that every team member contributed to make the fête happen was evident in the pinpoint focus leading up to it and the abundant smiles of the guests long into the night. The fête was a perfect ode to literature-lovers everywhere. In the words of our featured writer Gary Shteyngart, "Here's to another fifteen years of Epiphany!" — Chiara Kaufman

Brian Evenson's Staggering Ventriloquism

Brian Evenson's Staggering Ventriloquism

by Zack Graham

The author of over two dozen books of fiction, criticism, and work in translation, Brian Evenson is a master of many languages, tones, voices, and forms. His work renders the distinction between“literary” and “genre" fiction trivial. 

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Two Novels, Fat and Thin: Keith Gessen’s A TERRIBLE COUNTRY and Ryan Chapman’s RIOTS I HAVE KNOWN

Two Novels, Fat and Thin: Keith Gessen’s A TERRIBLE COUNTRY and Ryan Chapman’s RIOTS I HAVE KNOWN

by J.T. Price

To further the comparison between the two texts, certain thematic valences notwithstanding, Chapman’s debut is an all but negative image of Gessen’s sophomore effort—disjunctive where Gessen’s narrative is straight ahead; knowing and bawdy and essentially unconcerned with portraying human relationships at any great length, while that effort forms the pith of A Terrible Country; over-brimming with uprooted wit whereas Andryush walks, block by block, to discover where he might truly belong.

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Smile, America

Smile, America

by Tess Crain

America prizes smiling. Companies in client-facing industries have been known to circulate “service with a smile” policies, which require workers to feign happiness, if necessary, to please customers. “Hey Philly, got a smile only a brother can love?” “Give Us Your Crooked, Crowded, and Snaggled Teeth.” “Come in for a lifetime supply of confidence.” So asks, begs, and pledges SmileDirectClub, one of several fix-your-face startups with pandemic advertising. I understand. I got braces freshman year of high school and did not smile with my mouth open for two years.

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Upstate Dispatch: Six-Six Meadow Avenue

Upstate Dispatch: Six-Six Meadow Avenue

by Harris Lahti

The first house I ever worked on with my father was a farmhouse with syringes and beer cans ground down deep in the yard. It was my job to rake them out so as not to ruin the mower. But I ruined the mower anyway when a live shotgun round went off and bent the blade. In response, my father handed me a scythe. 

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Drunk on the Gush of Poptimism and Skepticism

Drunk on the Gush of Poptimism and Skepticism

by Robb Todd

People complain about the city. There is never not something to complain about. The sidewalks fill with leaves — red and gold — and these critics still complain. Some people complain and never say goodbye but, sometimes, a complainer vacates. The complainer who vacates complains about the city long after she has left. She complains that when she first moved to the city, the city was great. The city was amazing — she never felt so alive. Best thing ever. Never had so much fun. But the city is not great nor amazing nor the best anymore, and it never will be again, she claims. It changed. Forever, she alleges. The city changed. Not the critical complainer, though, just the city doing all the changing.

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"Production Baby" by Katie Yee

"Production Baby" by Katie Yee

by Katie Yee

The day I find out I am pregnant is also the day my husband decides to get serious about becoming an actor. I hold up the pink plus sign, and he starts Googling open auditions in our area. The first call my husband makes isn’t to his parents, it’s to his college buddy, Vito, a so-called talent agent. I hear him on the phone in the next room, saying, “I’m ready to be a serious man.”

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The Popularity of Negativity

The Popularity of Negativity

by Zack Graham

Christian loves culture. It’s how he spends all of his time. He champions good books (with the exception of graphic novels), reading the books he likes twice, even three times in a row. He listens to podcasts. He spends entire days “at the movies,” going to double and even triple features at a single theater. Culture is Christian’s life, and writing about culture is his life’s work.

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"Happier Lands" by Ernie Wang

"Happier Lands" by Ernie Wang

by Ernie Wang

Josh was eleven when he surpassed his dad Gary in muscle mass. He had surpassed him in strength years earlier, at seven or eight, but he feigned weakness and perfected his acting craft, and his exhales drew out longer and his face contorted with pained effort before he let Gary beat him in their nightly after-dinner arm-wrestling bouts. Josh would look at him with awe, to which Gary would look pointedly at Josh’s mom Sally. Sally, stone-faced, would studiously dip her spoon in her soup in even intervals, ignoring them both. Josh wanted to hug her and tell her everything was okay, or strike her with a single blow to send her flying across the room and scream nothing was okay. 

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Julius' Pigeon

Julius' Pigeon

by Siena Oristaglio

I’m sitting on a park bench surrounded by pigeons.

They teeter and flap about.

It’s raining but they don’t seem to mind. 

They peck at the ground, scouring for crumbs.

Their heads scan the surroundings mechanically.

I shift on my bench.

A few turn towards me with an ominous agility.

One sinks its head into its thick neck plumage and gives me a suspicious look. 

I stare back at it. 

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"Clean Kills" by Greg November

"Clean Kills" by Greg November

by Greg November

The dog rushed from between two large junipers flanking the road on the straightaway at the McCallisters’ place, so Denmore stomped the pedal and let the ABS take it from there. The squeal of polybutadiene rubber fusing to pavement—although it could have been the dog making the sound, he couldn’t be sure—flushed Denmore’s blood from thorax to extremities, where it pulsed like many small heartbeats.

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