New books — From the August 2013 issue

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Peter Orner is a true writers’ writer, which is to say a writer writers complain to writers about readers not reading. His novel The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (a title, one senses, Orner had to fight hard to retain) ranks high among the best works of fiction about Africa ever written by an American, and his collection Esther Stories contains work to rival that of David Means and Tobias Wolff. Orner’s latest collection, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge (Little, Brown, $25), is bundled into four sections and includes more than fifty pieces of fiction — “stories” is too grand a word for many of them — and yet tops out at a slender 208 pages. In other words, this is one of the oddest, most diffracted story collections to come along in some time. Imagine Brief Interviews with Hideous Men written by Alice Munro.

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  • Simon Collinson

    Great reviews, thanks. Will have to check Orner’s work out.

    Just to let you know – the microfiche of page 83 appears to have been exported with bleed marks & InDesign metadata.

    • http://harpers.org/ Harper’s Magazine

      Thanks for the heads-up. This has been fixed.

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