The Cold Eye of Mary Mccarthy

Shortlisted in the 2018 Feature Writing Competition SAM REESE looks at the short fiction of Mary McCarthy: ‘Well aware of the relationship between narrative and identity, McCarthy uses the vital compression of the short story form as a way to offer an alternative view of the roles available to contemporary women…’

Opening the Black Box

RACHEL STEVENSON discovers how figurative language divulges meaning in Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’: ‘The box, representing both tradition and death, makes Jackson’s point clearly – to carry on with tradition and ritual equals death. This can be taken both literally, in the case of Tessie Hutchinson, the ‘winner’ of the Lottery, and figuratively, in the sense that if societies don’t move on, they will be wiped out by progress…’

Author Profile: Maeve Brennan

ELEANOR FITZSIMONS profiles the writing life of Maeve Brennan: ‘…it should have come as no great surprise to readers of The New Yorker when the Long-Winded Lady, columnist and faithful, if eccentric, documenter of life in the eponymous city, was unmasked as Irishwoman Maeve Brennan, an immigrant who had arrived in her mid-twenties…’

Something Wild

MORGAN OMOTOYE finds the wildness in this modern-day fairy tale: ‘Thomas McGuane’s short story ‘Stars’, published in The New Yorker in June 2013, is about Jessica Ramirez, an astronomer. This ‘star gazer’, when we first meet her, is on an early morning hike, her surroundings full of bewildering awe…’

Diamonds in the Smooth

ANDREW LEON HUDSON discusses the stories of The New Yorker and the collection 20 Under 40: ‘I live in Madrid and I don’t read The New Yorker. But not because I live in Madrid. My reluctance has been reinforced for a number of years by almost everything my American friends say about it…’