Editor's Letter #4



My husband has pointed out to me that normal people don’t enjoy reading Dante’s Inferno on the beach, but hell, I’ve never understood the point of reading junk simply because it’s hot and waves are breaking. If you’ve got some extra hours for reading, why not make the time worthwhile?  

In our fourth—and first summer—issue, I’m happy to publish five terrific, stylistically diverse short stories, by Roxane Gay, Elissa Schappell, Scott Garson, Barbara O’Dair, and Len Kuntz. I hope that at least one of them will stop you in your tracks. We also have brilliant fiction, via our literary magazine partners around the world, from Robert Coover, Marisa Silver, Ian Wild, and Alex Leslie.

Although The Literarian is a fiction magazine, we felt it imperative to recognize the all too real disaster in the Yellowstone River, a tragedy that has gotten buried beneath the headlines about Casey Anthony and the budget. Kevin Canty weighs in mightily with his "Dispatch from Montana."

Also in this issue, Christine Schutt reveals the book that made her a reader; Carmela Ciuraru unmasks the fascinating true stories behind five noms de plumes, novelist Stefan Merrill Block talks to Noreen Tomassi about maladies of the mind and reimagining family, and Tiphanie Yanique reads from How to Escape from a Leper Colony.

I hope you’ll dig in. And please consider taking a classic to the beach. The literary canon goes great with chips.

Dawn Raffel

PS—Got fiction? Send it to us at  



Photo by Natalie Gialluca


Dawn Raffel is the author of two story collections, Further Adventures in the Restless Universe and In the Year of Long Division, and a novel, Carrying the Body . Her fiction has  appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Conjunctions, Black Book, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, The Quarterly, NOON and numerous other periodicals and anthologies. She has taught in the MFA program at Columbia University, and at Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Montreal. An illustrated memoir, The Secret Life of Objects, is forthcoming from Jaded Ibis Press.