The 2014 Emerging Writer Fellows

News June 20, 2014

We are thrilled to announce our inaugural Emerging Writer Fellows: Vanessa Hutchinson, Mahreen Sohail, and April Wolfe. We would also like to thank all of the writers who submitted manuscripts, and the readers who spent the past eight weeks evaluating, debating and championing applications.

Supporting new writers has been an essential part of A Public Space since the debut issue—Leslie Jamison, Nam Le, and Jesmyn Ward published their first stories in the magazine—and with the Emerging Writer Fellowships we hope to continue this tradition by seeking out writers who have not yet published a book-length work but whose writing shows exceptional talent.


Literature Begets Literature

Portfolio The Work of Kerstin Ekman | Selected and Introduced by Dorthe Nors May 2, 2014

All through my twenties I sat immersed in Kerstin Ekman’s novels. I believe she taught me to write. Now I have traveled to Stockholm to meet her. It feels like going back in time.

We have arranged to meet at Clas på Hörnet on Surbrunnsgatan, one of the city’s oldest restaurants (legend has it that the likes of King Gustav III and Sweden’s great eighteenth-century troubadour Carl Michael Bellman regularly let their hair down here). When I arrive Kerstin Ekman is waiting on a chair in the lobby. Famous people look like they do in pictures: Her hair is white and neat, her deep-set eyes keen and kind, but with an air of authority too. The same authority with which she resigned from the Swedish Academy in 1989 because of what she saw as the laxity of its stance on Salman Rushdie’s fatwa. I sense that walking out like that wouldn’t have bothered her in the slightest. More likely it suited her fine to pull on a pair of walking boots and stride off into the Swedish wilds. Her literature is like that too.


A Question for My Father

Portfolio Kerstin Ekman | Selected and Introduced by Dorthe Nors May 2, 2014

I have a memory of my father. It is suspended in time and space, as memories tend to be. I don’t know where we are, but I can hear his voice clearly. It is teasing and yet very intense. That’s what he was like when he was being serious. Incorrigibly sarcastic. Good Lord, girl, he is saying. Haven’t you noticed, a whole society is being built right around you? Was I sitting at the piano at dusk? He liked that. I must have said something that exposed my dreamy-eyed ignorance of what was going on around me. Sweden was just beginning the social upheaval that would throw us through a giant bell-shaped curve from cheerful optimism to bewilderment and panic. I knew nothing of it. I played Satie’s Gymnopédies.


Witches’ Rings

Portfolio Kerstin Ekman | Selected and Introduced by Dorthe Nors May 2, 2014

The snow melted, exposing the dead body of a man on a hillside just behind Tubby Kalle’s tavern. There was a narrow alley between Tubby Kalle’s long privy and the next building, where a yard hand lived. People called it Old Man's Alley. At the bottom of the alley was a little slope used by the three or four nearest houses as a rubbish dump. That's where he lay. The sockets of his eyes were sticky, his black coat was spotted with snow mold. The frightening thing was that no one knew who he was.


The Knife-Thrower’s Woman

Portfolio Kerstin Ekman | Selected and Introduced by Dorthe Nors May 2, 2014

Lie down. / You must have trust. / Still more trust. / Lie down. / Bare yourself to the knives.


Bring Me Back to Life

Portfolio Kerstin Ekman | Selected and Introduced by Dorthe Nors May 2, 2014

They all sit silently after Oda has spoken. The hissing of the radiators can be heard. A slushy liquid, neither snow nor rain, splatters the windowpanes.


The Practice of Murder

Portfolio Kerstin Ekman | Selected and Introduced by Dorthe Nors May 2, 2014

I do not have much confidence in medical science. That was a subject on which Harms and I were, for once, of the same opinion. He alleged that the human body is largely self-healing. Not entirely of course. We do all die in the end.


Scratchcards

Portfolio Kerstin Ekman | Selected and Introduced by Dorthe Nors May 2, 2014

At first Elis thought a Norwegian had driven up. But it was a Swede in a Norwegian rental car.


The Con Game—Grand Finale

Portfolio Kerstin Ekman | Selected and Introduced by Dorthe Nors May 2, 2014

The present was a tense she disliked. Banned in fact, calling it the angst tense. Personally, I thought she was exaggerating. You really shouldn’t overuse words like angst, I told her.


The Land, Episode Two

Sound Robert Sullivan April 4, 2014

A soundtrack for APS 20. A city government in northern California looks for a solution as its citizens' homes are taken away. Sounds of the city, a small collection inspired by the drawings of Nigel Peake. American crows. A poem by Lynn Melnick, and a reading from a short story by Colin Barrett. A librarian in Chattanooga, Tennessee. And Sam Amidon on the road with his new CD, Bright Sunny South.


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