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Backwards City Review - Fall 2004

  • Issue Number: Volume 1 Number 1
  • Published Date: Fall 2004

The debut of a new literary journal always causes me a small pang in the breast. It can be such a vicious world for these little literary nestlings. A trim, handsome journal out of Greensboro, North Carolina makes its debut with this Fall 2004 issue, and if Volume 1 Number 1 is any indication, the folks behind Backwards City Review should be assured that, whatever perils await them on the road of financing, distribution, sales, etc., they’re well ahead of the game in the editorial department. This inaugural issue is happily modest, but by no means meager, in its offerings: 4 short stories, 1 nonfiction piece, 26 poems, 3 fascinating comics, and as a delightful bonus: a facsimile of a hilariously pungent dispatch from the famous Kurt Vonnegut, answering the query: “Where do you get your ideas from?” Michael Parker’s story “Results for Novice Males” pictures in restrained (but never constrained) prose, the sticky relationship between two fledgling triathlon competitors, each struggling through dysfunction from opposite poles of class, and takes its thematic cue from the compelling idea of “junk miles”—“the mileage one accumulates without actually getting better, stronger, faster.” Alix Ohlin’s “Local News,” concerns a TV reporter who dreams of a better, happier, more successful life, and finds herself dramatically subject to the maxim of her journalism teacher: “When you…break all the rules I’ve taught you, then you’ll know you’re working in news.” And Adam Berlin’s unique story “Speeding Away” portrays the mean-spirited machinations of two bachelor protagonists as they wriggle their way out of a promise to drive an annoying friend of a friend home to New York from an Indiana wedding. 

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Review Posted on February 28, 2005
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