In Ch. 2 of “The Martian Invasion,” Brian Fawcett, a coming-of-age young Canadian, is on the Grand Tour of Europe in 1963. The “Rover Boys” (Brian and a pal) are driving a 1953 Opel through a blizzard in the Alps, eventually ending up behind the Iron Curtain in Belgrade, Serbia. The adventures of “travel morons.”
Mikhail Iossel is in Kenya, being interviewed by a Young Writer for a Nairobi-based publication, who, upon being shown some photos of Iossel in his youthful 20s, asks, “But… but… what happened?” SENTENCE: LIFE HAPPENED is the latest in Iossel’s series of stories-in-one-sentence.
Vian Andrews’ journals from Italy’s Umbrian countryside include woodpiles, competent workers, words that hurt, bureaucratic permits, Sunday theme-parks, and lots of olives, harvested and pressed, and olive oil drizzled on hot grilled bread.
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Brian Fawcett relates an incident in an alley in Brighton, England in 1963 that involves dope, Rockers, switchblades, and books. But how to tell a story that doesn’t violate the principles of the Creative Writing Department Manual or the fact that there is no fiction in the real world? “The Martians are always coming,” as one writer once said.
The Sussex Variations, or Two Boars: (Ch. 15) Nightingales, and a Short Journey Through the Darkness
In the concluding chapter of Brian Fawcett’s “The Sussex Variations, or Two Boars,” the young Canadian acquiring an “education” on an English pig farm in 1962 is still learning about the birds and the boars. “Nightingales, and a Short Journey Through the Darkness” features robins, starlings, nightingales and a deadly dangerous boar.
Scribbles from Italy: The Garden of Innocence, Bird Song, Fate of the Chicken, Going Cold, Doing Stuff, Winds That Blow.
Passages from Vian Andrews’ journals about life in the Umbrian countryside. Taking the kids to the park, the Thanksgiving lunch, a bird song of pain, farmers ploughing their fields, cold houses, and the wind in the olive groves — the settings in which a little wisdom might be found.
Gloriah Amondi’s narrator arrives back in Nairobi. A friend has died, her ex-lover has moved in with the Love of their Life, there’s a memorial mass to attend, and she has dreams of the dead friend. She writes on stickers and puts them up on the walls: “Death has a lot of time. It will wait, it will wait.”
Brian Fawcett learns the rules and wisdom of life and war, at least according to Ronald Surry, on a pig farm in England in 1962. Yes, a coming-of-age story but, more important, a story of coming-into-intelligence, which belongs to the world, not to the individual. Ch. 14 of “The Sussex Variations, or Two Boars.”
He lives in the basement. His ex-wife lives upstairs. He has a new girlfriend. She has a young child. He has a psychiatrist. He has kids. John Harris’ “Making Light of Love in the Moon.”
Brian Fawcett, coming of age on a Sussex pig farm in 1962, is trying to secure the facts in a world that seems doomed by nuclear weapons and a population explosion. Ch. 13: Doom, of “The Sussex Variations, or Two Boars.”
Scribbles from Italy: The Clang of the Past, Shouts and Hollers, The Slaughter of the Politicians, Entanglements
Passages from Vian Andrews’ journals about living in Italy’s Umbrian countryside. He’s thinking about church bells clanging, children’s playgrounds, medieval donkey races, the brutal games of politics, and the bloody chore of pruning brambles and thorn bushes.
A recent coronation leads Renee Rodin to think back to Queen Elizabeth II’s crowning in1953, when Rodin was an 8-year-old trhird-grader in a psychically-charged classroom in Montreal. A memory vignette that goes beyond the royal ritual.
Mikhail Iossel recalls a moment in Leningrad as an 8-year-old Jewish boy, a luminous moment of being, loss, love, and language. The latest installment of SENTENCE, Iossel’s series of stories in a single sentence.
Brian Fawcett, coming of age on an English pig farm in 1962, reads Voltaire’s “Candide” and wonders if the whole world is sliding back into the perils of “blind faith.” Ch. 12 of “The Sussex Variations, or Two Boars.”
Mikhail Iossel’s friend has an after-dinner nap nightmare about a firing squad. The latest installment of Iossel’s stories in one sentence.
Brian Fawcett thinks about death, on a pig farm in 1962, in the trenches of World War I and during the London Blitz. Ch. 11 of “The Sussex Variations, or Two Boars.”
Scribbles from Italy: The Winds Do Blow, Orgasms & Anti-Vaxxers, Setting the Table, The Stink of Modern Life
From Vian Andrews’ journals about life in Italy’s Umbrian countryside: reflections on the winds that blow, full course meals, the stench of daily life, and even orgasms and anti-vaxxers.