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Inkwell - Spring 2005

  • Issue Number: Number 17
  • Published Date: Spring 2005
Great fiction enables us to see the world with fresh eyes, as the editors of Inkwell remind us, and they have reason to be proud. Inkwell’s fountain runneth over with a generous selection of short stories that are guaranteed delights. While there are personal questions that beg for answers, there is no doubt that these characters’ eyes are true to what’s happening on the moment, inside and out. Stephanie Dickinson’s “Amiga Mom from Planet Iraq” scrutinizes current events with a mastery of technical terms, radiating with sun-parched wit and utter shellshock. The protagonist is a female soldier leaving her tour of duty in the Middle East after being severely wounded in combat. Her observations are real, her memories haunting. “So much of this country is nothing but two sticks and still it wants to become less,” she writes in an e-mail to her mother. “‘Even the dirt wants to blow itself up into smaller and smaller pieces.’” There’s more detail in Dickinson’s story than in a dozen AP wires. And still, her heroine bites the bullet and floats above the gloom and doom. Physical suffering plays a more intimate role in “We are Not Civilians Here,” in which M. Allen Cunningham enters the body of a man one hundred years young; it’s a body that “bleeds across the borders” and “mingles more with the mind,” a man for whom the pains of memory and physical decay overlap. Also, “The Silver Men” by Emily Doak is notable for its bizarre “Only in New York” concept and the relationship story that lies beneath. There isn’t enough poetry in Inkwell to fill the breaks between these stories, although Bradford Gray Telford makes an astute conclusion from his traditional rhyme that “There is no self without artifice.” Pick this one up with the fiction in mind. [Inkwell, Manhattanville College, 2900 Purchase Street, Purchase, NY 10577. E-mail: . Single Issue $8.] – Christopher Mote
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Review Posted on May 31, 2005

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