458 Slices
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9780892727605

Cold Spring Nights in Maine, Smelts, and the Language of Love

Down East Books ePub

Alice Bloom

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Medium 9781743603604

Over the Edge

Berendt, John Lonely Planet Publications ePub

This is the part where I jump off a cliff into choppy, shark-infested waters. It’s the middle of the Australian winter and I am barefoot, wearing a wetsuit with neon stripes down the side. I have never been to Australia before and did not grow up in a surfing community. This is my first time in a wetsuit. As I crouch down against the evening wind, readying myself to spring off this pointy rock and into a part of the Sydney Harbor called ‘Shark Bay,’ I feel like a superhero, surveying her lands from atop a stone gargoyle. This is an unusual feeling. My traveling superpowers are generally limited to making trains arrive by losing my boarding pass and being impervious to caffeine before 7 a.m.

I’m not supposed to be here. I know this because about 40 feet inland from the cliff is a sign that reads ‘Warning: Serious Injuries Have Occurred to Persons Jumping From Cliff Edge.’ But the sign has an inverse effect on me. Its very existence means that more than one person has done this and come out in one piece (more or less). Maybe, I think, this is what it feels like to be brave. As an adult, it’s easy to get away with being so corporally unadventurous. Most careers do not require you to leap from tree houses or see who can hold their breath the longest. Therefore, to prove to myself that I’m as adventurous as a teenager, I’m going to fling myself off this cliff.

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Medium 9781847778772

The Colonel’s Shoes52

Ford, Ford Madox Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

On the 27/9/19 four men were held up at midnight between York and Darlington in a first-class carriage. One was an architect, aged fifty, two were country gentlemen from the neighbourhood of Aysgarth, in the late forties, and the last was the MO of a service battalion returning on demobilisation. He also came from near Aysgarth, where he had a practice. They had been a long time in the train; it seemed longer, and there was a dead silence all down the line. The architect, who had a grey beard, stretched out his legs and yawned.

‘Eh, but I’m tired!’ he said. ‘As tired as the old priest, Peter Monagham.’

One of the country gentlemen asked who was the old priest, Peter Monagham. The architect said he was a good old priest who, on a night when he was dog tired, received a summons to administer extreme unction. But he fell asleep, being so very tired, and only waked in the morning light in great shame and tribulation. So he rode very fast to the house of his penitent and was told the man had died.

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Medium 9780253019028

100,000 Men

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

“HUSH, HUSH,” HE said expectantly, jittery, running about the camp, the gaping hole in his brown shorts thoroughly visible, as was his entirely emaciated state. “Do you not hear them?” he turned around and around, looking about, pausing, staring intently at each face, as if to will them, to force them to apprehend what he was saying. “Do you hear them coming?” He breathed heavily. “They are coming! I saw them with my own eyes, my own two eyes! I swear they are coming.”

“Taidor, Taidor, Choul is having another of his fits again,” Alek said to her husband, stating the obvious.

Taidor looked on, unable to shake off the melancholy expression on his visage. Of course he knew there was no one coming. He was the sober one, calm, collected, resigned to fate without complaint. And he knew there was definitely no one coming. He hated the hopeless optimism of Choul. Even from their days at the university in Khartoum, Choul had entertained and nursed this ridiculously hopeless idealism. “They are coming where?” he scoffed. “Who? Who is coming?” He shook his head sarcastically and proceeded to scratch his unkempt hair.

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Medium 9781938901249

16. The Chairman

Susan Spano Roaring Forties Press ePub

16

THE CHAIRMAN

Like visitors at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, people come to Shaoshan village, deep in the heart of China, to remember and teach their children about a national hero.

He launched the Long March, an estimated 3,750-mile epic exploit as central to the story of China as the Boston Tea Party is to America. He fought warlords, the Japanese, and the US-supported Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek. On October 1, 1949, he stood in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and proclaimed the birth of a new China.

He was Mao Tse-tung.

In the West, he is remembered as the instigator of bloody purges, disastrous agrarian reforms, and that heinous episode of national self-violatiocn known as the Cultural Revolution. The first sentence of Mao: The Unknown Story, a unilaterally condemning biography of the Chinese leader published in 2005 by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, puts it this way: “Mao . . . who for decades held absolute power over the lives of one-quarter of the world’s population, was responsible for well over 70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other 20th century leader.”

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Medium 9781574416367

Then the Walls Closed In: The Virginian-Pilot / By Sarah Kleiner Varble

Gayle Reaves, Editor UNT Press PDF

Then the Walls Closed In

The Virginian-Pilot

June 29, 2014

By Sarah Kleiner Varble

Part 1 of 4

Patrick Ryan arrived home from work one day to find his wife glaring at him over the second-floor banister.

Their month-old daughter was stripped to her diaper.

“Something's wrong with the air conditioner,” his wife yelled. “It's

85 degrees up here.”

It was August 2006, and Jennifer Ryan was on maternity leave with their firstborn. Patrick was puzzled. The unit in their new house in Isle of Wight County was only 3 months old.

A couple of years later in Virginia Beach, Liz and Steve Heischober were having a different kind of trouble.

Liz used to stay up until midnight, but she had begun drifting off to sleep after dinner. Her doctors couldn't explain her fatigue.

172

Best American Newspaper Narratives, Vol. 3

Night after night, as his wife slept in her chair, Steve gave her a nudge and said he was going up to bed. Sometimes, he'd come downstairs hours later and find that she hadn't budged.

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Medium 9781771870849

What the Soul Knows

Ratzlaff, Lloyd Thistledown Press ePub

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What is it in the soul, then, which makes it take more pleasure in the finding or recovery of things it loves than in the continual possession of them?

— St. Augustine

JUNGIAN THERAPISTS MARIE-LOUISE VON FRANZ and James Hall write that, although the human psyche does not ignore physical death, it regards it in dream and imagination as merely another event to go through, beyond which some form of life always persists. It’s as if the soul knows her states, and cannot envision non-being.

Hall and von Franz write of a dying person who dreams that a great tree is cut down. Immediately a new sprout appears from the stump. Another dreams that a candle in the windowsill burns out; instantly it appears, re-lit, on the outside. Many people return from clinical death with reports of tunnels and lights, and experiences ranging from infernal to sublime — and regardless of formal religious involvement, or lack of it. We ourselves may dream of our death, and be nonetheless present at the funeral; or of departed friends who appear alive and vigorous, yet we feel no conflict or oddity as the dream continues.

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Medium 9781938901249

24. Proust and Trader Joe’s

Susan Spano Roaring Forties Press ePub

24

PROUST AND TRADER JOE’S

For those of us who love to travel, it is a very sad thing when the trips are over and memories fade. I take plenty of pictures when I’m traveling; they remind me of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. But they don’t always bring back the experience of being in a place, and they are a nuisance to keep organized. Then, too, I’m haunted because they don’t capture small, mundane, easy-to-forget things, such as brief encounters or the smell of tropical rain.

Happily, many memories can be reclaimed by doing something everyone does about once a week: grocery shopping. That’s what I was up to one Saturday morning, though never in a million years would I have expected to be transported to an inn outside Oxford, England, in the breakfast food aisle at Trader Joe’s. But there on the shelf I found the key to a travel memory in a box of Weetabix, a low-sodium, high-fiber English cereal made (according to a notice on the box) “By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen.” I cared about none of that the first time I saw Weetabix in England, because I was on my honeymoon.

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Medium 9781771870825

Biographical Notes

Virgo, Seán Thistledown Press ePub

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

BRIAN BRETT was born in Vancouver, and spent his childhood on the road in his father’s truck, learning the Fraser Valley farm region, the native villages, and ocean and lakeside fishing camps. He ruined his knees walking over too many mountains, and has had too many opportunities to witness the destruction of the great raincoast cloud forest and the rich delta of the Fraser River. A poet, novelist, and journalist, the author of eleven books, his latest publication Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life won the 2009 Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize. His natural habitat is limited to the climate region where the wild rhododendron grows. He has spent his adult life advocating the preservation of this ecology. Currently, he lives on an organic farm on Saltspring Island, British Columbia.

Novelist and poet BARRY CALLAGHAN is included in every major Canadian anthology and his fiction and poetry have been translated into seven languages. His works include The Hogg Poems and Drawings (General 1978), The Black Queen Stories (Lester & Orpen Dennys 1982), The Way The Angel Spreads Her Wings (Lester & Orpen Dennys 1989), When Things Get Worst (Little, Brown & Co. 1993), A Kiss Is Still A Kiss (Little, Brown & Co. 1995), Hogg, The Poems And Drawings (Carleton 1997), Barrelhouse Kings: A Memoir (Little, Brown & Co. 1998), and Hogg: The Seven Last Words. He has published translations of French, Serbian, and Latvian poetry, and has been writer-in-residence at the universities of Rome, Venice, and Bologna. He was a war correspondent in the Middle East and Africa in the 1970s, and at the same time began the internationally celebrated quarterly and press, Exile and Exile Editions.

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Medium 9780253019059

World War II

Johnson, Owen V. Indiana University Press ePub

Machine-gunner Pyle goes riding in a five-ton tank

INDIANAPOLIS—Time was heavy on my hands today, so I appointed myself a corporal in the Panzer division and went out and rode around the country in a tank.

I sat in the machine-gunner’s seat, and mowed down trees and weeds and fence posts, and also killed a man on a dirt scraper driving two mules. His last words were, “Hey, what’s comin’ off here?”

The tank I rode in was a five-ton baby one, out at the Marmon Herrington Co. The ride lasted about half an hour, and was really only a small part of my afternoon’s education.

For Marmon-Herrington is deep in expansion for defense orders, as are most concerns of their type, and what they are doing was thrilling to me. But I’ll tell the rest tomorrow.

My little tank was built for two men, and was painted brown. You climb over the caterpillar tread mechanism, and step down into it from the top, like stepping into a box. Then you pull the steel roof down over you and lock it. And there you are, for better or worse.

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Medium 9780253019028

Bras-Coupé

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

translated from French and introduced by Sarah Jessica Johnson

LITTLE ENOUGH IS known about Louis-Armand Garreau. His fictions tell us that he was an anti-slavery Frenchman and intimate examiner of antebellum Louisiana. His patchy biography reveals a man whose political writings necessitated a life of on and off exile from France. By the 1830s, Louisiana was a known and fairly stable haven for French and francophone refugees of many backgrounds; political outcasts were common contributors to the multilingual literary world of the newly American state. Garreau’s short story, “Bras-Coupé,” translated here for the first time into English, is a graphic and nuanced depiction of plantation slavery in New Orleans, capturing the multi-ethnic, multilingual, immigrant-saturated city and its environs.

Published in France in 1856, “Bras-Coupé” retells a popular local legend based on actual events of the 1830s: Then, a slave named Squire escaped from a plantation and lost an arm in the process. He continued to evade the police in a standoff that lasted years. Quickly dubbed “le Bras-Coupé” or “The Severed Arm,” Squire and his supposed “encampment of outlaw negroes near the city” resisted capture for enough time to reanimate intense local fears of slave revolt. Additionally—and importantly for this literary history—the continuous newspaper reporting of the prolonged stalemate built up a legend that would go on to be retold by late-nineteenth century authors George Washington Cable and Lafcadio Hearn. The former would feature Bras-Coupé’s story in two chapters of his magnum opus The Grandissimes: A Tale of Creole Life (1880), while the latter would respond to Cable in his newspaper column with a report meant to set the historical record straight, titled “The Original Bras Coupe” (1880).

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Medium 9780253000958

The Men We Carry in Our Minds

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

This must be a hard time for women,” I say to my friend Anneke. “They have so many paths to choose from, and so many voices calling them.”

“I think it’s a lot harder for men,” she replies.

“How do you figure that?”

“The women I know feel excited, innocent, like crusaders in a just cause. The men I know are eaten up with guilt.”

We are sitting at the kitchen table drinking sassafras tea, our hands wrapped around the mugs because this April morning is cool and drizzly. “Like a Dutch morning,” Anneke told me earlier. She is Dutch herself, a writer and midwife and peacemaker, with the round face and sad eyes of a woman in a Vermeer painting who might be waiting for the rain to stop, for a door to open. She leans over to sniff a sprig of lilac, pale lavender, that rises from a vase of cobalt blue.

“Women feel such pressure to be everything, do everything,” I say. “Career, kids, art, politics. Have their babies and get back to the office a week later. It’s as if they’re trying to overcome a million years’ worth of evolution in one lifetime.”

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Medium 9780892727605

The Ogre and I

Down East Books ePub

Elaine Ford

I

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Medium 9780253018571

How to Freak Out Your American Roommate

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

THE FIRST TIME you meet your first roommate, you are jetlagged from the nineteen hours of flying to the United States. You barely register the names of his mother and father and siblings as he introduces them to you. But you do register how friendly and chatty they all seem to be. It strikes you, also, how everything he says appears to end with an inflection, so that he always seems to be asking a question. And when his family leaves, he tells you how he thinks it’s awesome? That you are like from Africa? And everything? You do not understand why being from Africa is “awesome,” but you smile and say thank you. He tells you then that he is from Maine, and when you reciprocate by telling him that this is “awesome,” he looks at you with a mildly puzzled smile and asks why. “Exactly,” you do not say.

You are wide awake that night when he begins to unpack his suitcases. And since you have nothing else to do, you ask if there is anything you can do to help. You install his television and his refrigerator, both of you, and he tells you that, although he understands you might want to buy your own fridge, he has brought a relatively big one so that you might share his, since he figured you couldn’t possibly bring one all the way from Africa. You tell him—and you really mean it—that this is very considerate of him, that it’d be nice to share his fridge. You can use his electric kettle as well, he says, and his printer, too. And, oh, his mom had gotten him a lot of snacks—too many, in fact—so you can help yourself to those as well. “Oh, nice!” you respond, laughing.

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Medium 9780253000958

Buckeye

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

Years after my father’s heart quit, I keep in a wooden box on my desk the two buckeyes that were in his pocket when he died. Once the size of plums, the brown seeds are shriveled now, hollow, hard as pebbles, yet they still gleam from the polish of his hands. He used to reach for them in his overalls or suit pants and click them together, or he would draw them out, cupped in his palm, and twirl them with his blunt carpenter’s fingers, all the while humming snatches of old tunes.

“Do you really believe buckeyes keep off arthritis?” I asked him more than once.

He would flex his hands and say, “I do so far.”

My father never paid much heed to pain. Near the end, when his worn knee often slipped out of joint, he would pound it back in place with a rubber mallet. If a splinter worked into his flesh beyond the reach of tweezers, he would heat the blade of his knife over a cigarette lighter and slice through the skin. He sought to ward off arthritis not because he feared pain but because he lived through his hands, and he dreaded the swelling of knuckles, the stiffening of fingers. What use would he be if he could no longer hold a hammer or guide a plow? When he was a boy he had known farmers not yet forty years old whose hands had curled into claws, men so crippled up they could not tie their own shoes, could not sign their names.

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