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Miranda Literary Magazine – Winter 2008

This is a somewhat quirky fledgling literary magazine that is just cranking up and has fond hopes for its future. Not only are the winter offerings presented online, but a print edition is also available for purchase. The website is a little difficult to negotiate, but the offerings range from fiction and poetry to interviews and book reviews.

This is a somewhat quirky fledgling literary magazine that is just cranking up and has fond hopes for its future. Not only are the winter offerings presented online, but a print edition is also available for purchase. The website is a little difficult to negotiate, but the offerings range from fiction and poetry to interviews and book reviews.

My favorite was the very touching short story, “Death of a Witch Doctor” by Manuel San Juan, an attorney in Puerto Rico, who traces the life and death of an extraordinary fisherman in the Caribbean. The story is presented with the same dignity that Hemingway created for his hero in the acclaimed The Old Man and the Sea. Also engaging is Sylvia Fowler’s “A Freak Confession,” the story of an attractive and rather seductive dwarf who is a showgirl on Coney Island and lives with other dwarfs in a place called Lilliputia. There is something very haunting in this tale about the comings and goings of “freaks” as told by one of their own.

This edition also includes a superb book review of Norman Mailer’s An American Dream by the Australian, Sandra Hajda. She gives us a nice synopsis of the author’s rather tumultuous life, followed by an outline of the story, and then a critique of the work, with what seems a fairly balanced analysis of the book’s positive and negative qualities. She is as hard hitting and uncompromising as the author, saying, “As a documenter of cruelty and depravity, Mailer is above reproach.” She concludes that it is “a nauseating 238-page slice of ‘truth without love,’” but also considers it “an illuminating work, redeemed by its sheer evocative force.” Pretty strong commentary here, perhaps an example of literary criticism rising to the level of its object of criticism.

Also included: an editor’s blog, an essay, some poetry, and a few other tidbits. It will be interesting to see what direction this online publication takes in the future. They’ve made a pretty good start.
[www.mirandamagazine.com]

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