Jeannine Hall Gailey
Because The Missouri Review has such a strong tradition of excellence, it is used by many of my friends as a sort of literary bellwether, a steady source of reading pleasure over the years.
Because The Missouri Review has such a strong tradition of excellence, it is used by many of my friends as a sort of literary bellwether, a steady source of reading pleasure over the years. The theme of this issue is “Fusion” and features an interview with Tobias Wolff as well as some early, previously unpublished work (“The Swan”) by Tennessee Williams. I continue to applaud The Missouri Review’s regular practice of publishing more than one poem by each poet they feature, which enhances the reader’s sense of the individual poet’s voice rather than having all the poems run together in a jumble, as they do in even the best journals. Also, I admit that I like reading the subversively zine-like cartoons. The note that opens the issue from the editor, Speer Morgan, “Pirate Publishers,” is an amusing look at the trials and foibles of literary publishing, and includes such interesting tidbits as language from the rejections by various publishers of The Bell Jar, Lolita, and Wide Sargasso Sea. I also liked Catherine MacCarthy’s poem “Deluge.” One standout piece in this issue was Lissa Franz’s short story “Islamadora,” which begins: “The women of the office gather around Pilar’s desk to play Who Has the Worst Children. The higher up they are in the office hierarchy, the more offensive and shocking their offspring…Pilar is the secretary…Her daughter, Thea, is sixteen. She is six foot two and plays the flute with a timidity that makes people look away while she performs.” [The Missouri Review, 1507 Hillcrest Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 65211. E-mail: [email protected]. Single issue $7.95. http://www.missourireview.org/] – JHG