The Masters Review Volume II with an introduction and stories selected by AM Homes is now available for pre-order. Purchased books will ship on our publication date, October 1, 2013. Check out a collection that Ms. Homes calls, “compelling, startling, and resonant.” With stories like “Potomac,” which was a finalist for the Nelson Algren Award and “Almost Touching, Almost Free” from Battleboro Chapbook Contest winner Dustin M. Hoffman, these stories reflect the work of ten truly talented individuals.
Pre-orders can be made, here.
One Story is a non-profit literary publisher that has been around for over a decade. Their accolades include numerous Pushcart Prizes, Best American Mystery, Best American Short Stories, among many others. Every three weeks One Story’s 15,000 + subscribers receive a short story from a new author. One Story only publishes an author once, ensuring readers experience new voices through their subscription. They are true literary heavy hitters and always deliver.
This week we read One Story’s “The Prospects” by Michelle Seaton. “The Prospects” is told from an omniscient perspective, addressing characters by group as opposed to name or any other singular moniker. The story examines football recruiting, particularly by following ‘The Prospects’ and ‘The Recruiters’ through their shared experience in football, while The Prospects are being evaluated, chosen, and plucked from their high school celebrity status into more challenging roles as college athletes. There is a real youthful quality to this story, and a strong sense of hope and ego among The Prospects when we first meet them, and yet a darkness permeates. Seaton, who is a seasoned sports journalist, applies a lens to the micro-environment of college recruiting in a way that is sad, sympathetic, and also raises questions. For anyone who attended high school where football reigned supreme, the way Seaton’s Prospects are hailed as super stars is eerily familiar. However, a transformation occurs when we meet The Recruiters, who treat and manipulate these athletes through the promise of a bright and shiny future. The boys are seen as a commodity and The Recruiters — sad in their own right — maintain a power over them. They are the gate keepers of their future, and yet they’ve been battered and broken by the same athletic careers they are pushing.
Within the story of The Prospects and The Recruiters is a clear stance on the controversies behind football. How recruiting is conducted as well as how injuries are ignored. What I liked most about this story is how a very real topic is conveyed through such a lovely literary telling. With current controversy in baseball, the Penn State scandal last year, and the increased attention on the health of our football players, this story has a relevancy that made “The Prospects” especially fun to read.
Readers: One Story’s past and current issues can be found here, along with their subscription details.
Writers: Submissions for One Story are open from September through June. Get those stories polished!
By Kim Winternheimer
1. Chambray Shirt by Madewell. Luckily for us all, the chambray shirt has made a big comeback. Hemingway rocked the socks out of a denim shirt, as any true outdoorsman will. Guys, here’s a great pick for you.
2. Boyfriend Chinos by J Crew. Indoors, outdoors. Daytime, nighttime. These pants blend form and function beautifully. They imply you care very little, and yet somehow, you look effortlessly stunning. Winning.
3. Fringe vest by Free People. Granted, a fringe vest is a tough one to pull off. Hemingway managed to do it, but he also managed to produce spare, tight prose that put a more popular lyrical style to shame. Then he won a Nobel Prize for it. We say, give the fringe vest a try.
4. Hiking boots by Danner. Hiking boots are synonymous with Danner. I will leave you with nothing more than this simple fact. Other than Hemingway wore hiking boots.
5. Vintage Citizen by American Apparel. How long have I been fighting this marlin? How long have I been working on this short story? How long have I been looking this good in this watch?
And lastly, for your viewing pleasure, we give you Hemingway’s passport photo in 1923. Which brings to mind we most certainly need to produce a Reading is Sexy: Hemingway the Younger Years post, sooner rather than later.
What’s cookin’ good lookin’?
Amazon just released their top 100 books of the year. Titles include: The Round House by Louise Erdrich, The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers, The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg, and Mortality by Christopher Hitchens among others. Click on the link above to see all 100 books.
What books would you recommend as the best of the year? Let us know in the comments. We’ll be tweeting answers all day.
May we please direct your attention to the fabulousness that is this t-shirt. Couldn’t help but post this shirt as a first in a series of Reading is Sexy blog posts. There are a lot of DIY tutorials online, some of which use paint, and some of which use markers, but all of which are pretty great. Email us immediately if you wear this to a reading and we’ll send you a free copy of The Masters Review. We reward those who take fashion risks.