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New fiction from today’s most exciting authors.

Basha Boosha

You never realize how accustomed your eye grows to a familiar variety of human species in a particular place, including that place’s indigenous freaks and weirdos, until a bizarre specimen…

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The Return

My friend was a widow, not really old but already a widow twice. You think of Oscar Wilde’s wisecrack. To lose one husband may be regarded as a misfortune, to…

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The Castle of Rose Tellin

Pen remembers it all. It was 1968. They took a family vacation to Sanibel. Pen’s father drove the station wagon. He held the wheel tightly and gritted his teeth and…

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Seeing Through Maps

Photographs by Lisa Elmaleh for Harper’s Magazine © The artist I was splitting wood at sunset when the cat jumped up on the chopping block in front of me, arched…

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The Conversion of the Jews

They lived in narrow streets and lanes obscure,      Ghetto and Judenstrass, in murk and mire; Taught in the school of patience to endure      The life of anguish and the death…

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Recovery

April said that when she got healthy—if she did, she said, if—she wanted to have Julia’s body. It was the ideal, April said, curvy but still thin enough, I should…

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Triptych

In an effort to replenish its anemic membership with younger blood, the New Amsterdam Club has, among other measures, relaxed its dress code, allowed the use of cell phones, and…

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Lingua Franca

Some of the guys joined back up for Korea, to be Marines once more, to sail back across the Pacific Ocean and kill different Asians. Bob considered the prospect, but…

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The Big Quit

A departure yard in Chicago (detail), December 1942, by Jack Delano. Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Leave the two men stranded along the railroad tracks outside Chicago,…

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On a Winter’s Night

My father told me this story. He said it happened one Christmas Eve many years ago. A boy was walking alone alongside a highway and saw the lights of the…

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The Loud Parts

Angie said through convoluted gasps brought on by racing Adderall thoughts that Saint died at his desk so Jean could get his job. Jean insisted between tangents of laughter that…

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Siberia

I have no pictures of people on my phone anymore, she said, only pictures of prose. When did I become a misanthrope? The last time he saw her, she was…

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Violet Swans

Crooked November moon. The sky’s belly, torn open. The snow, spilling out and coming down. The first snow. Onto the midnight streets of Moscow. “Ash.” Wind. Flakes. Blizzard, whiteout. “You…

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The Other Rosalie

That night, I was slogging knee-deep in the steely waters, trawling for eels, flashlight taped onto my cap, fishing net dragging behind me, when I snagged on something large and…

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Temporary Housing

Only Greg ever noticed the notch in my tooth, and only in outline did I tell him about how I got it—how Guin and I stole that couple’s developed film…

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Worms

Baumgartner is sitting at his desk in the second-floor room he variously refers to as his study, his cogitorium, and his hole. Pen in hand, he is midway through a…

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Late at Night

Long after his fiancée had fallen asleep in bed, Adam Edwards read next to her on his phone. He thumbed the screen to scroll through a long article. The words…

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An Errand

In Old Delhi, not far from Chandni Chowk, on roads plied only by cycle rickshaws and men and women on foot, there is a wonderful little set of alleyways that…

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Stopping Distance

grief and time Grief takes as long as it wants, in various formations, and doesn’t follow rules the way we’d like to think it does. And for God’s sake, it…

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January

The day Aaron finished rehab, Cassie picked him up and drove him to New York City. Though they lived in Boston, and the facility was north, in New Hampshire, it…

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Place of Safety

For years, people asked Rochelle: What were you thinking? Everybody wanted to know. Strangers would cross the street to cut her off on the sidewalk. Hey, they would say. Tell…

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Greensleeves

After the event, it was observed that there can be no neutral bystanders. If employment of the passive voice has also been observed in the preceding sentence—as in, if some…

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Lucky Woman

The saleswoman was waiting for them as they entered the store. She had severely dyed hair and a clipboard clutched tightly to her chest. Josh thought it was possibly her…

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Detour

Too early for spring, you couldn’t trust such blinding-white sunshine in mid-March. And the smell of damp earth thawing, reviving—too soon. Abigail was feeling light-headed. Unreal. A seismic sensation, as…

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