Okay, full disclosure: I will love any magazine that includes any work by Paul Maliszewski, fiction writer. I cannot help it. In the world of small literary magazines, most of us have authors for whom we’ll shell out anything to get the latest—a Dean Young or Bob Hicok or Olena Kalytiak Davis Poem, a Paul Maliszewski or Thomas de Zengotita or Aimee Bender story. So I’m biased toward this particular Gettysburg Review from the start because of Mr. Maliszewski and his story, which, like nearly all his other published work, is fun, funny, strange and beautiful.
It is a little surprising, somehow, in that The Gettysburg Review seems a little staid, at first blush. But while the attractive perfect-bound journal has the matte finish of seriousness, it’s a wild wind inside those pretty covers. If I don’t say right here before mentioning the rest of the book that there’s a man in North Carolina named G. C. Waldrep who has written two of the more devastating poems in recent memory, I’ll explode. So there it is: if only for pages 233-34, for those two poems, buy the journal. And the Maliszewski story, of course.
But there’s more, too. Christopher Coake has some fiction that’s fresh as bananas before the boat, and Peter Stitt’s introduction is wonderful; Brad Marshall’s paintings are so soft you almost feel flannel on your cheek when you see them. And yes, there are too few women present in this magazine, by ratio, so here’s to hoping Gettysburg will publish an overabundance of women writers in their future issues. [The Gettysburg Review, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325-1491. E-mail: . Single Issue $7. http://www.gettysburg.edu/academics/gettysburg_review/] - WC