Home » Newpages Blog » The MacGuffin – Spring/Summer 2011

The MacGuffin – Spring/Summer 2011

Here are three fiction writers to watch out for. They all set up confrontations of one sort or another on which their stories turn, and they’re all in the latest issue of The MacGuffin.

Here are three fiction writers to watch out for. They all set up confrontations of one sort or another on which their stories turn, and they’re all in the latest issue of The MacGuffin.

In “The Last Soucouyant,” Hunter Liguore places us in the sorcery-haunted Caribbean to witness a tragic meeting between an old woman, suspected of witchcraft in the death of a boy, and the boy’s sister, who is in denial about her own role in the death. On a mission to put her brother’s spirit to rest by killing the “witch,” the girl sets fire to the old woman’s shack and eventually lets her fall to her death in a ravine. Yet the story ends in transcendent peace and forgiveness that is as believable in its context as it is narratively satisfying.

In “Swing,” Christopher Green, a University of Toledo lit master’s graduate, tells of another kind of confrontation—this one between “Pixie Stick,” the adolescent starting pitcher for a boys intramural baseball team, and Anni Walsh, who is from Milwaukee but is “an Irish girl with the Irish works: milky calves, buoyant red curls, sixty-watt eyes the color of ryegrass in summer.” Anni has landed a spot on the opposing team, and this hilarious story follows the two through the big game, moving from “boy hates girl” to “boy finds out what sex/lust/love is all about and will never be the same.” But if you think you know how this transformation is accomplished, watch out for the wet grass between home and first.

The confrontation in Sarah Kuntz Jones’s “The Line Between Men” is between Carrie, whose boyfriend has dumped her for an old flame, and the late John Wayne, whom she wakes to find inexplicably sitting on her sofa. She screams, and Jones is pitch-perfect in making Duke immediately believable. “His face puckered, and when her breath ran out, he said, ‘What’d you do that for?’”

Turns out the Camel-smoking Duke is just as mystified as Carrie. He woke up, walked out of his bedroom into her living room, and when he went back through the door he was on her front porch. “I don’t know what the hell is going on,” he says. The boyfriend comes back, finds Duke in the apartment, leaves, comes back again, all the time running his number on Carrie. By the end of the story Duke has helped Carrie find the grit to draw the line with the boyfriend. Then Duke disappears, leaving Carrie alone but now more able to handle it.

Other notable stories in this issue include “The Balding Are the Lonely, Lest Worn-Out Hats Prevail” by Serge Segal; “Medicine Iron’s Woman” by Frank Owen du Bois; “The Window” by Michael Humfrey; “Banjo Justice” by Terry Sanville; and “Old Men Waiting” by Cavenaugh Kelly. There is also a fine poem, “Eden,” by Derek N. Otsuji, who teaches at Honolulu Community College and works weekends at the family’s farmers market.

Rounding out this eclectic and engaging 160 pages are work from 10 other poets and nine other fiction writers, plus four black-and-white photographs and Bert Harris’s straightforward memoir about a Nazi aunt who was Hitler’s librarian. Handsomely published, The MacGuffin has come out three times a year for the past 27 years at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Steven A. Dolgin is the editor. The masthead lists Elizabeth Kircos as fiction editor, this issue’s strength.
[www.schoolcraft.edu/macguffin/]

Spread the word!