The second issue of The Land-Grant College Review is an interesting thing to behold: it features some charming old-timey illustrations by Joy Kolitsky, but its ten stories are anything but old-fashioned.
The second issue of The Land-Grant College Review is an interesting thing to behold: it features some charming old-timey illustrations by Joy Kolitsky, but its ten stories are anything but old-fashioned. There’s a hint of mystery to many of these pieces. Particulars are not spelled out, be they plot points, specific locations in the real world, or motives. We get this in Nelly Reifler’s “The River and Una,” in which a girl experiences the first flush of love with a boy as her wild older sister lies ailing and unresponsive following a mysterious slip – or jump? – in the river where, perhaps, she most belongs. A surreal mindscape is presented by Jeffrey Renard Allen as he takes on racism and religious manipulation as well as the after-effects of a domineering mother on a young black writer/activist in “Same.” In Jeff MacGregor’s “Welcome to the Mystery Cabin,” a couple visits a crazy small-town tourist stop, one of those houses where water flows upside-down, perspective is jumbled, and gravity seems to have taken a holiday. The husband is hellbent on figuring out the tricks, but his wife is content to relish the unbelievable, the unknowable. Readers of The Land-Grant College Review would do well to follow her example. [Land-Grant College Review, Inc., P.O. Box 1164, New York, NY 10159. E-mail: [email protected]. Single issue $12. http://www.lgcr.org] – JQG