Thursday, August 03, 2006

short stories and katyushas

I read a wonderful short story last night. Coming back from holiday at 3am yesterday, there was a pile of post waiting for me, including Mslexia, the fabulous quarterly mag for women who write, and several literary magazines, some of which I read regularly (Tin House, The Paris Review ) and a magazine that's new to me: The Bellevue Literary Review. It's published out of Bellevue Hospital, "the oldest public hospital in the United States", around for 270 years. Their remit is "fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that touch upon relationships to the human body, illness, health and healing." I wasn't so sure about this, but decided to send one of my short stories into their Fiction contest, and the fee includes a year's subscription. I cracked it open last night, and read the winning story from last year, Joan Malerba-Foran, "The Little Things". I was gripped from the first page, the story of an alcoholic teacher in an American public school just trying to make it through the day. This is the first published piece of prose by Malerba-Foran, a poet, and her poet's eye is evident in every sentence. Her powers of original description are astonishing. I am very picky, I demand a lot from a short story, and she gave me everything I need. Go out and buy this issue.
As to the second half of my post's title, coming home to the worst day of Katyusha rocket fire from Hizbullah on the north was not what many people may have thrilled to. But I was just so happy to be back in my flat, back in my bed, and, finally, back in a place where I could get detailed news about the situation. The BBC just doesn't do it for me. J and I sat in front of the Channel 2 news last night, watching the footage of the Israeli operation in Lebanon on Tuesday night and then seeing pictures of the devastation of Israeli homes by rockets yesterday. One man was killed in Nahariya, and his dog, a beautiful golden retriever, was wandering in between medics, reporters and the kibbutz residents, looking for his master. That said it all.
Happier news next blog, perhaps.

1 comment:

solomonswise said...

Great to see that you have a blog. I'll be a regular reader.

Much love

Justin