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You Should Read: Electric Literature

March 17, 2010

Electric Literature isn’t an ordinary literary magazine. They’re the ones who sponsored Rick Moody’s Twitter story in November, the ones who actually PAY their authors the big bucks ($1000!!!!) and….the ones whose stories are good, fresh, readable, without any of the snob or fuss I’ve been getting from The New Yorker of late (with the exception of this story and Junot Diaz’s stories in general of course, because I love that man)

Anyhow, all this fuss is because I got issue No. 3 a few weeks ago and I am LOVING IT. (Who wouldn’t? Even Lit Drift had to gush about it)

The current issue features five stories by Aimee Bender, Matt Sumell, Rick Moody, Patrick deWitt, and Jenny Offill.

First  Line(s):

The Red Ribbon” — “It began with his fantasy, told to her one night over dinner and wine at l’Oiseau d’Or, a French restaurant with tiny gold birds etched into every plate and bowl.”

Small Things” — “I folded my arms. They felt big, capable of anything. Lifting, carrying, digging, feeding cows PCP so they revolt with unexpected and tremendous violence—anything.”

Contemporary Characters” — “There are things in this taxable and careworn world that can only be said in a restrictive interface with a minimum of characters:”

Reed & Dinnerstein Moving” — “It was Reed’s wife’s idea that he and Dinnerstein should start a moving company. Reed feigned enthusiasm, but in truth was hopeful the inspiration might vanish, as so many of her other inspirations had.”

The Tunnel” — “At first, it was hard to look at her. She had those bright eyes that the dying do. They say time turns hawkish, that you feel it like a wing crossing over you.””

Reading Time: 6 issues per year, 5 stories per issue, 10-20min per story

Level of Enjoyment: Enough to let my pot of cream of wheat burn. It took 15min to scrub that pot clean, but I just didn’t want to stop reading “The Red Ribbon”

Cost: I can’t help but mention that Electric Lit is SO AFFORDABLE. I get it in my email inbox (6 issues for $24) but you can also get the paperback copy (6 issues for $48) and back issues for only about $5. I highly suggest getting the email version (comes as an ebook, PDF or audiobook) cause I’m cool.


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