February at Open Letters Monthly

Thanks to the insight, creativity, and just plain hard work of editors and contributors alike, the new issue of Open Letters Monthly went live yesterday, and it’s full of the usual fine array of essays and reviews (yes, I’m patting myself on the back along with everyone else!). Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find if you click on over:

  • Anne Fernald (who blogs at Fernham and has published in Open Letters before) offers a thought-provoking reminiscence of her grandmother, an uncommon variety of the ‘common reader.’
  • Victoria Best (better known to some of you as litlove), writes a fascinating account of the troubled but somehow mutually inspiring, or at least enabling, relationship between Margeurite Duras and her young acolyte (lover? muse?) Yann Andréa.
  • My Dalhousie colleague Alice Brittan reviews Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall and finds it good–but not quite good enough for what she believes Cunningham to be capable of.
  • Joanna Scutts’s excellent commentary on the new BBC series Downton Abbey makes me wish I’d been recording it–I’ll be watching for the reruns.
  • The indefatigable Steve Donoghue (who blogs at stevereads) launches his new series, ‘A Year with the Windsors,’ with a review of Kate Williams’s Becoming Queen Victoria. At my urging, the remainder of the series will include far more references to Walter Bagehot.
  • I pitch in with a review of Sara Paretsky’s most recent V.I. Warshawski novel, Body Work, placing it in the context of some of the issues that come up when I teach my classes on detective fiction.

There’s lots more, too, so I hope you’ll take a look. We’ve also added a couple of sidebar features this month, one linking around to a few highlights elsewhere on the web, the other showcasing some of the great material from the OLM archives, which go back almost four years. The magazine is a labor of love for everyone involved–and I never really guessed just how much labor, or how much love, before I became part of the editorial team!

By the way, if you happen to be in Washington at the AWP Conference, look for our table, chat with our charming representatives, and buy a copy of our anthology!

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