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Pearl - Spring/Summer 2005

  • Issue Number: Number 34
  • Published Date: Spring/Summer 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual
I always enjoy uncovering a journal with a history that I had never known existed before. Pearl has a history (34 volumes now) that includes an impressive devotion to special issues. This all-fiction issue marks the eighth time Pearl has committed itself to the genre, and it doesn’t disappoint. Of the 19 stories included, most are under 1,500 words and immediately accessible; they can be tried on by all sizes to see which fit the best. It would be enough to laud Pearl for taking chances with them, but the longer fiction turns out to be the winner. I was glad to see Stephanie Dickinson, having reviewed her work previously, receive her dues for a story well done. “Road of Five Churches,” winner of the Pearl Short Story Prize, is a throwback to the ingenuities of Southern Gothic as it follows the plight of a girl bound by the dogma and deceitful trades of her controlling guardian. “I’m not sure how old I am,” she says. “Twelve, thirteen, maybe fourteen or fifteen. I could be sixteen. Virginia doesn’t believe in three hundred and sixty-five days making up a year. It’s ridiculous to think that calendars and clocks could divide up the Creator’s infinite present.” Also noteworthy: Fred McGavran’s “Confessions Without Culpa,” an outlandish but hilarious story about the most crooked lawyer imaginable, a guilty pleasure just in time for the Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Keep the gems coming, Pearl. [] –Christopher Mote
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Review Posted on September 30, 2005

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