We are always so rushed these days that it is hard to find time to slow everything down and appreciate a literary interlude. Reviewing books, writing articles and papers, finishing novels...always such a commitment of time. But taking the time to read short pieces of literature online, like the occasional piece of Godiva chocolate, can be quite refreshing and enjoyable, reminding us that beautiful writing comes in small gifts too.
So let me offer you a few of these opportunities today:
The first is a thoughtful new poem, "Shapeshifter," by poet and young adult author Maureen McQuerry, that slowly unravels the process of transformation. The second is a short story, "Medusa at Morning" by Beth Bernobich, available at the newly redesigned Behind the Wainscot site (which, by the way, has lots of great new fiction offerings). Also, as I've been searching out "Swan Maiden" fiction for an upcoming article, let me recommend the beautiful and haunting "Gift of Flight" by Nghi Vo, published in Strange Horizons (which also has a tremendous backlist of short science fiction and fantasy tales). And for something completely different, bracing as a cold smack of fresh air, try Hari Kunzru's funny and poignant contemporary short story "Magda Mandela" at The New Yorker, about a woman who is a force of nature and whose voice is a metaphysical wonder.
*The art above is "The Scribe" by Gentile Bellini (1479-80).