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The Kenyon Review – Summer 2005

In his editor’s note, David Lynn bemoans the Atlantic Monthly’s decision to discontinue publishing fiction and reaffirms his journal’s commitment to literary short fiction. In his editor’s note, David Lynn bemoans the Atlantic Monthly’s decision to discontinue publishing fiction and reaffirms his journal’s commitment to literary short fiction. The issue’s seven stories certainly demonstrate his dedication to producing “something of lasting power and beauty,” as well as to the magazine’s expansive vision of what literary fiction can encompass. Aline Soules contributes excerpts from “Woman Acts,” which read as much like a series of connected prose poems as they do fiction; Margaret Kaufman contributes a story from her novel in stories; Arnošt Lustig and Susan Hahn offer first-person narratives with voices so realistic I had to double check to be sure these pieces were indeed, fiction, and not memoirs; Marc Robert’s “Erzählungenlied” reads like the translation of a fairy tale, both for its diction and old-fashioned syntax and for its magical qualities. This same eclectic editorial approach allows the category of “nonfiction” to include Henry Hart’s critical essay on Simic and excerpts from a dense, dreamy memoir by Jean-Claude van Itallie. The dozen poets represented include Malmoud Darwish, the well-established Palestinian poet whose poems are turning up with increasing frequency in American journals these days, a long Whitmanesque-like poem by James Kimbrell, and Marc Rudman’s rambling “I Think About Australia Endlessly.” Rudman asks: “…how can I return to a place where I’ve never been?” The answer: read The Kenyon Review. [www.kenyonreview.org] – Sima Rabinowitz

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