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A Public Space - Spring 2006

  • Issue Number: Number 1
  • Published Date: Spring 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly

The debut issue of A Public Space is probably one of the most highly anticipated magazines in recent history. Brigid Hughes, the former editor of the Paris Review, tops the masthead and the contributors include literary heavyweights like Rick Moody, Kelly Link, Charles D’Ambrosio, recent Pulitzer winner Marilynne Robinson, and John Haskell—not to mention a rare interview with Haruki Murakami, a Japanese author who enjoys a cult-like following. And A Public Space does not disappoint. In addition to fabulous production quality and compelling selections of prose and poetry, the magazine offers several unique features: If You See Something, Say Something, a forum comprised of four short essays, the topics ranging from James Frey to Tutsi women, and a special focus on Japanese writers. The poetry is wonderfully eclectic, while John Haskell’s inventive and essayistic “Galileo” is a standout in fiction: “Brecht started writing The Life of Galileo during the rise of Fascism, but it refers, at least partly, to any ideology that tells people what they can and cannot be. Brecht had seen enough injustice to know there was something to protest against, but the question was how. He was a writer, and as far as he could see his writing—what he saw as telling the truth—was protest enough.” A Public Space can be seen as a kind of protest, against bland and unimaginative publications that are content to look at contemporary literature through a single narrow lens. This magazine is admirably working with a large and multifaceted landscape, and all the pieces come together to create a dazzling whole. [A Public Space, 323 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11217. Single issue $12.] — Laura van den Berg

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Review Posted on April 30, 2006

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