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The Saint Ann’s Review - Number 2

  • Image: Image
  • Issue Number: Anniversary Issue: 2
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

This Brooklyn-based review celebrates its fifth anniversary with this issue, and I must say, they are five quite underrated years. Alongside some new pieces, the editors have selected the best of their fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Brian Baise’s “Don’t Leon Sanders Me” is flat-out hilarious. The story begins with Leon Sanders’s father purchasing a snowmobile for his wife and son, thinking they spend too much time indoors: “Nothing like that had ever been in our driveway before. I’m not even sure how I knew what it was.” The story is pitch-perfect, as is “Switcheroo” by Judith Hawkes. The first line being, “It all begins the night the three of them decide to switch heads,” and that’s what the story is about. Really. But it works with Hawkes’s tight control over the prose. “Horse,” by Mary-Beth Hughes, paints an emotional picture of Atlantic City from a new bride’s hotel room the morning after the wedding: “Tilted houses, scattered parking lots, municipal buildings rusty from the sea air.” The stillness of the view extends to her glimpse of her new husband, “I have wasted him with kisses, she thought.” Aviya Kushner’s poem “No One Knows What Happened to the Hittites” ends with the lines, “we tried to tell you what to expect / but then everything just went bust.” The change in diction is startling, and “bust” produces such a strange sound, so much rounder than the mostly soft-sounding consonants of the rest of the poem, that I found myself repeating the word over and over. For a poem largely about impermanence, getting a word stuck in the reader’s head is no small feat. The Saint Ann’s Review has similar staying power, certainly longer than the Hittites, who ruled for a mere five hundred years. []

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Review Posted on January 31, 2007

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