We are pleased to share Rebekka Rafnsdóttir's essay "A Girl on the Hunt," the inaugural recipient of the Bette Howland Nonfiction Prize. The prize, given annually to a student at the New School in New York City, was established by Honor Moore, who first met Bette Howland in 1977: "In the winter of 1977, I went to the MacDowell Colony for the first time. I had just had my first work—a memoir-as-play called Mourning Pictures—go public on Broadway.... The play had been a hit in a Massachusetts summer theater and closed quickly in New York, and though it was to be published in an anthology, I was having a hard time emerging from what was an up-down whiplash experience. At MacDowell I met a woman writer about eight years older than me—at the time, she seemed much older!—who had just published a memoir of her time in a mental hospital—the book was called W-3. We became friends—long talks in what I remember as her very dark writing studio—her typewriter in a pool of light. She was the first woman writer to encourage me."
October 16, 2017 byRebekka Rafnsdóttir
These stories deal in large-scale deceit and betrayal, there are painful things at work in this fiction, but much like the scene I described above, Jamel Brinkley regularly finds ways to pierce through the dramatic and find the subtle and humane lurking within.
July 15, 2016 by Victor LaValle
I began reading Elizabeth Gaffney’s short story with a wince of parental recognition. Pets are hell, and having to explain their traumatic demise to a small, tear-stained child usually leads to an existential crisis, followed by the dubious consolation of hunting down some equally doomed replacement.
June 2, 2016 by Sasha Saben Callaghan
A. N. Devers talks with debut author Sara Majka about the Wu-Tang Clan, Alice Munro, and the intimacy of fiction. Cities I’ve Never Lived In: Stories by Sara Majka, is the newest A Public Space Book, with Graywolf Press.
February 16, 2016 by A. N. Devers
Whenever I visit Kolkata, India, the city of my birth, nostalgia follows me through the streets. I notice which of the older buildings have become new malls, which of the sweet shops known for their condensed milk squares have now been replaced by modern confectionaries or worse, a Baskin-Robbins, which of the old cow-claimed roads have been cleared to make room for apartments. My travel journals are full of these observations and the memories that come with them.
July 7, 2015 by Jai Chakrabarti
Throughout the summer and into the fall, we will be distributing postcards at various bookstores, performance venues, and cultural institutions around Brooklyn asking people to document a public space in the borough on a 4" x 6" canvas. Here is what we've received so far.
June 15, 2015
Translation may be the invisible art, but the translator's mission is precisely to bring visibility to a work of literature, and at times to rescue an author from obscurity. This is especially true when translating Italian women writers of the past who struggled for visibility even within their own culture.
April 23, 2015 by Olivia E. Sears