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Making A Home

The green and gold urn sat in an open cardboard box, the overhanging naked branches gliding off of its shiny surface as they made their way through Manhattan. Ken drove faster, not wanting to miss the next green light. The interior rattled a little as they moved through SoHo and the sky grayed as rain […]

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Catalina

Everyone knows that the nicest people you’ll ever meet are drunk girls in bathrooms, but Evelyn was sure that not everyone met someone like Catalina. The bathroom at Rick’s frat house was unfinished and disgusting. The walls and floors were concrete, the stall doors hung loosely on their hinges, beer cans littered the floor and […]

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Gomennasai

“Honto ni gomen ne! Honto ni gomen ne!” It’s shock that allows Hannah to ignore the blood dripping down her cheek and focus on the terrified face of the guy who just sent her flying down a flight of steps.  People pass by, too worried about catching the next train to acknowledge the two of […]

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We’re Just Fine

He had a habit of giving her bad news in public. In line at a Smoothie King he ha told her about the first few white spots on the scans. He’d dropped by the Starbucks nearest to her college with the results of the biopsy. It was a caramel macchiato with a bleak prognosis on […]

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Why We Stay

There is very little good to be said for a city like this. It would be nothing without its people. There is no industry. The weather is less than ideal with long, harsh winters and short, sweltering summers. The midges come in off the lake during July and stick to every surface that doesn’t move. […]

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Bad Desire

When the weather in Maine sucks, it sucks hard. Fat raindrops thud against my hood, I tug the drawstrings of my fleece hoodie, pulling them tighter while trying to ignore the dampness seeping through to my hair. I stuff my frozen fingers under my shirt and push them against my belly. It’s still two weeks […]

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Lesson in Separation

She was observed by many to be a victim of serial tragedies that claimed the lives of many of her family. Her home, modeled after Beijing’s courtyard house, was a literal interpretation of isolation, a jail that she might have felt comfort in. They all thought that the girl already made up her mind to […]

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Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

I am not sure what to make of this story. It feels awkward and somewhat uncomfortable, especially in the dialogue. A lot of the conversation doesn’t even occur in quotations, but in the context of the confusing and muddled paragraphs. I tied this largely to the cultural separation but I realize that Yiyun Li creates this […]

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Snow

Butler does not use a lot of complicated methods in “Snow.”  It is fairly simple.  It is written in a simple style, nothing is too technical, yet it is still a powerful story.  “Snow” is in first person, told by a Vietnamese girl who works at a Chinese restaurant.  Part of the reason behind the […]

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“Snow” by Robert Butler

“Snow” is written in first person, and has a story telling quality in the opening lines. We are in the narrator’s head, but she is also speaking to us in: “I wonder how long he watched me sleeping. I still wonder.” There is a quality of being outside of her head in this. The narrator […]

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