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The MacGuffin – Winter 2007

It devours you, it challenges you. The fiction in The MacGuffin has muscle. The poetry can take you places in a few simple stanzas, with no visible effort. Such craftsmanship is hard to come by.

It devours you, it challenges you. The fiction in The MacGuffin has muscle. The poetry can take you places in a few simple stanzas, with no visible effort. Such craftsmanship is hard to come by. Masterpieces adorn this 159-page journal. “Bed-Tea in New Delhi” is an efficient poem by Dawn McDuffie about the hedonistic world of a privileged person with a servant. It powerfully shames the rich while lamenting the poor. The reader is crushed by Trudy Seagraves’s “Cowboy,” an outstanding narrative about a brutal act committed by an ignorant father that changes a family. Seagraves weaves a spell while she brings the reader along to contemplate a horrible scene. In a very different manner, a female author writing about women brings a unique view of working mothers into focus. Two very different women, a Scandinavian nanny and a black married career-mother with a philandering husband, find common ground when it comes to facing the world alone. “The Easy Part,” by Joan Wilking, slyly challenges the reader to dislike its characters, then flips the picture, showing their complexities, and scores political points as well as dramatic points. On a wholly personal level, a moving poem digs deep into a now sadly common problem. N. S. Williams describes, with grace and fury, moments of unease that make up years of daily living with the dread disease in “Monitoring My Mother’s Alzheimer’s”. His dexterous imagery goes to the core of what makes the illness so heart breaking. Each character, in every story, in The MacGuffin is vivid; each poem makes the reader pause. With the cool cover art scene, “Gazebo at the Summer Palace in Beijing,” by Gordon L. Wilson, depicting an exotic grove of trees in green and pink overlooking a blue river, this journal takes us to real and mind-blowing places. The MacGuffin is a must-read. [www.schoolcraft.edu/macguffin]

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