From The New Yorker

“Bridget lived in Barcelona for a year. First she stayed with her college friends Maya and Andrew, who were trying to be poets, and then she sublet from a man named Marco, whom she’d met at a grocery store. She had a fling with a woman named Bernadette, who was from New Zealand and shared a flat with a Scot named Laurie, whom Bridget also slept with, and that was the end of things with Bernadette. Bridget smoked Fortuna cigarettes and wrote furiously in her journal about people she’d known and slept with, or wanted to sleep with, or had slept with and then been rejected by. She was twenty-three years old.” Read the Story

‘Something About Love’

From Sewanee Review

“Lewis Dark lost his wife in a fire. Less than a year later he was living with Vicky, who was divorced and had primary custody of three children, aged four, seven, and ten. People said—sometimes to his face—that she was taking advantage of him in his state of grief, that she was after his money, which he made selling high-end espresso machines to restaurants. People said she didn’t even try to control the children, who ran and shouted through the rooms of his now-crowded home. It was true they were noisy, but Lewis liked noise. It drowned things out, and he wanted to be drowned.” Read the Story

‘A System From the North’

From The Walrus

“It was snowing the day the boy walked away. She was standing outside with the Tadpoles—they went outside every day, regardless of the weather; it was part of the Philosophy—preparing to herd them back inside the building. She counted three, four, but not five. The child had a blue coat that ought to have stood out against the blankness of the snow. She didn’t see him anywhere. She closed her eyes, teary with melt, and tried again. Three, four. Not five. He was gone.” Read the Story

Sad, Strange Brilliance: On Tove Jansson and Moomin

From The Millions

“Probably mine was the only Swedish-New Mexican family in the Canadian suburb where I grew up, the only house where the shelves were cluttered with Scandinavian gnomes and Hopi kachina dolls. We lived far from any relatives, and our nuclear family unit formed a country all our own, with a specific culture, language, and mores. My father was a professor and my mother had been a teacher, so our country’s currency was books. We liked nerd humor. Sometimes we spoke in fake German accents for no reason. We were odd.” Read the Article

Reader, You Married Him: Male Writers, Female Readers, and the Marriage Plot

From The Los Angeles Review of Books

“IN ANTOINE WIERTZ’S 1853 painting The Reader of Novels, a naked woman lies on her back, comfortably secluded in her boudoir, holding a copy of The Three Musketeers to her face. The sheets beneath her are in slight disarray. She looks like she’s having a good time. The painting, reproduced in Belinda Jack’s lively, engaging history The Woman Reader, shows a figure crouching in the shadows next to the woman, pushing yet another book onto her bed. If you look closely, you can just make out that the figure has horns; it’s the devil.” Read the Article