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North Dakota Quarterly - Fall 2004

  • Issue Number: Volume 71 Number 4
  • Published Date: Fall 2004

It might behoove the honorable editors of North Dakota Quarterly to realize that this magazine too closely resembles a college catalog from the outside. (It probably doesn’t help that one can open up and find a registrar-esque listing of grad school dissertations!) Don’t be fooled: NDQ is a university publication, and its Dakota origins are evident in its academic reviews, but there’s enough literature of all kinds to appreciate in it. The creative essays are plentiful, one after another on a variety of subjects: personal memories of the Verrazano Bridge, Berkeley during the age of the Beats, an American teaching creative writing to French students. Peter Selgin, who may be my newest favorite fiction writer of the moment, has a brief piece in here, “The Man in the White Car,” a hallucinatory story told by a seemingly unreliable narrator with a surprising moral twist at the end. Among the poetry, Leslie Adrienne Miller’s work radiates with palpable experiences of womanhood, cultural observation and language. In “Speaking of the Devil,” she writes about English: “[T]oo many people live in its center, / and the environs are losing population fast. / Few are interested in leaving the inner cities of language, // so each tongue shrinks, deletes its consummate / geographics, copse and dell, ravine and fen, / boonies, coolies, bailiwicks, and sloughs.” Words are all we’ve got, as Beckett told us, and what a surprise to discover how deep language can be. NDQ may not dazzle, but it gets the job done. [North Dakota Quarterly, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202-7209. E-mail: . Single issue $8.] — Christopher Mote

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Review Posted on April 30, 2005

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