ISSUE 19, Fall 2005




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Creative Nonfiction Magazine


Ten new essays, including our briefest brief to date, as well as repeat visits from Greg Bottoms, Rebecca McClanahan, and Cheryl Merrill. Good things still come in small packages:

By Ira Sukrungruang

My mother was a champion bowler in Thailand. This was not what I knew of her. I knew only her expectations of me to be the perfect Thai boy. I knew her distaste for blonde American women she feared would seduce her son. I knew her distrust of the world she found herself in, a world of white faces and mackerel in a can.

By Nicole Walker

Cooking filets of fish is not complicated. Salt and pepper the fish. Press the water out of the skin with a knife. Slide it across at a 20 degree angle. In the pan, in some oil, two minutes on the skin side, one minute on the flesh. Itís the sauce thatís difficult.

By Stuart Lishan

So, ďKa-Chunk,Ē went Jerryís head. And thatís a sort of love, too, donít get me wrong, only it wasnít Sherri Lunaís sort of love. She needed to touch the someone she loved, even if she didnít understand what the yearning in her heart was asking her 9-year-old body to do.

By Cheryl Merrill

Imagine a vocal instrument that is equal parts cello, double bass, violin, tuba and trumpet, one whose entire body is an expanding and contracting resonating chamber, one that can sing with a throat full of water and triple-trill a rumble, a roar, and infrasound, all in one 3-second call. Yma Sumac would be horribly jealous.

By Porter Shreve

The glass explodes in front of me. Loud snaps and a deep bellow. Then I’m looking at a mass of black fur and bone where our windshield used to be. I reach for my face and everything is wet, tiny shards dug into my hands and arms.

By Linda Dyer

She sauntered down the street mid-morning in a navy blue silk bathrobe, her satin mules clicking the sidewalk with two-inch kitten heels.

By Rebecca McClanahan

King murdered the week of my senior prom, then Bobby in a hotel just miles from my school while I marched to Pomp and Circumstance, not knowing that within a year on a July night in the back seat of a Volkswagen, I would pledge what was left of my heart to a boy leaving for Vietnam.

By Joshua Dolezal

All winter, I rose early and drew a scalding bath first thing, smothering toast with apricot jam while water drummed in the tub. Night and day converged in a stream of heat and half-waking.

By Greg Bottoms

ďSheís insane. She does this every time she sees me. She bit someone in my momís neighborhood, so my mom told my dad he had to keep her here until they could sell her. My mom says my dad drinks and thatís why the dog is wild. "

By J. Stephen Rhodes

On the day before she died, I visited Mina in the hospital. As soon as I walked in her room, she said, ďOh, Steve, I just took the most wonderful trip before you walked in. I went on a helicopter rideĖyou know how Iíve always wanted to. We went way up in the air, so high the trees looked like blades of grass.


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