Best of the Web 09/11/17

Thrice a month, we feature our favorite literary links. As ever, we promise: You’ll laugh. You'll ponder. You won’t get any writing done.

From EuropeNow Journal,"Prague-Berlin Train," a short story from Grub Instructor Stacy Mattingly. 

"The clap of our feet as we—Franz and I—ran down the hill to the station in the dark. As if the running were the rescue. What we could do. The feel of his face against my lips. The way he pressed back to get nearer. The brush of his mouth. The smell of tobacco from his plume signal. The cigarette butt abandoned as we rose."


From the Kenyon Review Online, Jaquira Díaz's essay, "You Do Not Belong Here."

"For the past ten years, I’ve been writing a book about girls. Girls who are black and brown and poor and queer. I have been those girls. A runaway, on a Greyhound bus, homeless and on the run, a girl sleeping on lifeguard stands, behind a stilt house restaurant, on a bus stop bench where the city’s panhandlers drink. And I have been other girls: girl on a dock the morning after a hurricane, looking out at the bay like it’s the end of the world; girl on a rooftop; girl on a ledge; girl plummeting through the air; girl standing before a judge. And years later, a woman writing letters to a prisoner on death row."

From, an Academy of American Poets Prize 2017 winner, "Ode for Dark Matter," by Jayme Ringleb.

"It’s almost a heaven,

neglecting you."

From the Oxford American, Frederick McKindra's essay, "Becoming Integrated."

"Still, enough photos survive, enough to conjure the glamour of those lives. Enough to lead me to imagine what might have been, had those businesses survived, symbols of collective striving and cooperative economics. What credit might they have granted entrepreneurs who followed? How might those businesses have been nourished by more-equitable loan practices? The documentary presents images of black people gleeful while inhabiting black space, making purchases from black merchants. As I marveled at the glow contained in those stills, I began reconsidering what integration had meant to those communities. Had it been the moral and physical salvation of black Southern people, as I’d learned on placards in museums from Atlanta to Birmingham to Memphis? Or were those stories somehow constructions meant to disguise the erasure of a group by singling out the ascension of a few, a measly prize in the face of much larger misfortune?"

On HuffPost for PEN America, Kyle Dacuyan's essay, "The Invisible Work Around You."

"Zhang’s stories articulate—with anger, grace, heartbreak, and exasperation—the complex calculations performed inside of immigrant families, the recognition that work, intimacy, private life, safety, and stability are all moving pieces which sometimes must be sacrificed for one another. This balance becomes all the more precarious when questions of documentation status enter the equation."

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