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Jim Ruland

Credit: Photo by Sam Jones

Once Upon a Time in Westwood

“A lot of people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidents. They don’t realize that there’s this, like, lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything.” Fans of the cult classic Repo Man will recognize these lines as the film’s leitmotif,......

Edna O'Brien: Ireland's Other Literary Heavyweight

This is the week of Bloomsday (June 16), the day on which James Joyce’s Ulysses is celebrated with scholarly symposia, cultural gatherings and an effusion of finger waving from academics who admonish us for not having enriched our meager minds with the master’s difficult but incandescent prose. Balderdash. This summer,......
The author; Credit: Nina Subin

Samantha Hunt's The Invention of Everything Else

Samantha Hunt's second book is a portmanteau of a novel. It's a love story. A father-daughter tale. A historical comedy of manners. A counterfactual autobiography of one of the world's greatest inventors. With time machines. Nina Subin The author (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) Hunt's skillful yet slippery narrative......

Stuck in Xtacumbilxuna’an

We’d left our cell phones at the hotel. They’d been off all week. Nuvia and I were on our honeymoon and didn’t want our romantic dinners and excursions to ancient cities interrupted by chirp and chatter, but now we were stuck. We’d intended to go to the Caves of Xtacumbilxuna’an,......
PHOTO BY CHARLES G. STEFFEN

Jack Pendarvis' Your Body Is Changing

The collection’s title story is a road novella that features a fatherless young Alabama boy of 14 named Henry Gill, whose catalog of miseries includes an overarching belief in God, a teenager’s raging lust, a bad haircut, worse acne, and a lump on his chest that, due to an overabundance......

Mexican Time

At Los Amigos, a taco shop on Hidalgo Avenida adjacent to Tecate’s central plaza, Cayetano Herrera reflects on the fickle nature of time. “It’s a burden,” he says. Herrera is referring to the Mexican government’s decision to keep the usual starting date for daylight-saving time — the first Sunday in......

Ninth Lives

“I’m from the Nine, and you ain’t takin’ mine!” New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas was just getting warmed up, but his constituents were already plenty heated. It was a sweltering Louisiana afternoon, with humidity hovering around 80 percent. Volunteers in yellow T-shirts passed out cups of water to......
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Lost Classic

During a crucial moment in the broadcast of Lost, ABC’s popular television drama, the camera turned away from the castaways to zoom in on the cover of a book: The Third Policeman, the obscure Irish novel by Flann O’Brien. After one of the show’s writers intimated on an online message......
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