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Black Warrior Review - Fall/Winter 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 33 Number 1
  • Published Date: Fall/Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle: annual

Stylish and quirky, BWR continually reimagines what it means to be a university-affiliated journal. Amid the chapbook and gorgeous art portfolio, Steve Davenport’s “Murder on Gasoline Lake” unfolds the toxic layers of his childhood spent in a refinery town and illustrates the ways home, even sludge and stink, gets graphed to us “whether we like it or not.” Angie Carter may have entered the world just as Elvis exited, but her nostalgic essay proves music and video as seductive as warm flesh to the obsessive psyche. While paragraphs labeled “First sight,” “First jealousy,” “Our song” suggest stalkerish fandom, Angie’s awareness of the absurd and coverage of other Elvis aficionados (freaks?) sweetens the insanity. For this issue’s feature, each editor picked a favorite writer to introduce their own favorite writer: Chris Bachelder introduces Kevin McIlvoy, Stacey Richter introduces Adam Desnoyers, giving this underpublished newcomer a chance to shine. Other solid fiction: “The Alternative History Club,” where a bright 16-year-old succumbs to colorful delusions of a Mob-CIA go-between after her mother’s death; “The American Magical Realist,” about a literary scholar whose mid-life aspirations clash with his personal and creative limitations as he searches his life for material; and the woman in “In Cities, Well After the Fact” realizes she’s better off despite a break-up painfully prolonged by her ex’s selfishness and temper. Staring at the cover makes me wish this was an annual so the image could greet me at newsstands for the next 12 months; the quality writing makes me wish it was quarterly.

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Review Posted on January 31, 2007

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