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issue two
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morvern callar morvern callar

Say what? Say Morvern Callar. (sounds like More Vern Caller) It's a name, the name of the magnificent creature who narrates this stirring first novel by young Scotsman Alan Warner. You can call her Morvy for short. No, it's not another Trainspotting. The setting is rural, not urban, and there are drugs, but it's mostly ecstasy, not heroin. No needles, no dead babies. Just a dead boyfriend. There's dialect, but it's a melodious, hypnotic hybrid that it is Morvern's very own. Very few bad words: Morvy is not foul-mouthed. From raves to pubs to mountainsides, Morvern takes readers through a strange, grisly, and absolutely breath-taking world. Hers is a story you will not soon forget.
 
into the great wide open into the great wide open

With a glowingly-reviewed collection of short stories and novel under his belt, Kevin Canty has already developed a keen sense of what makes a story work. In meticulously efficient prose he is able to provoke thought through understatement. Into the Great Wide Open, a New York Times Notable Book last year, is the utterly authentic story of two young people fleeing their families' emotional abandonment to find refuge in each other. His essay for Bold Type, "Alcohol," and short story, "Moonbeams and Aspirin," both display his powerful ability to evoke strong feelings and mesmerizing images.
 
sex crimes sex crimes

One of the most talked about novels of the season, Jenefer Shute's Sex Crimes is a sexy, literary page-turner about a woman who blurs the line between fantasy and reality. An older woman, a younger man, and a single moment of passion and fury make for one entertaining ride. The author's essay describes the intense reaction she received to her work, and she makes no apologies whatsoever. A audio reading, taped at NY's Limbo Cafe, offers a tantalizing sample of the book, and the text excerpt makes the perfect present for Grandma.
 
the speed queen the speed queen

From one of Granta's "Best Young American Novelists" comes a story of lives in uncontrollable overdrive, told through the voice of Marjorie Standiford, a woman just hours away from execution. Weaving its way through drug abuse, dealing, robbery and murder, The Speed Queen by Stewart O'Nan is a taut, violent, darkly comic road trip through the heart of America.
 
out west out west

Fred Leebron's got vice covered for us: vengence, sex, and murder. His first novel is a darkly humorous tale of two perfectly normal people who get caught up in circumstances of their own creation, and yet beyond their capacity to manage. Out West chronicles the desperate attempts of Benjamin West and Amber Keenan to get their lives back under control and has received considerable critical acclaim for its gritty portrayal of lives gone awry. In this issue he shares with us an original short story, "Starfucker" and advance look at his new novel-in-progress, Six Figures.
 
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