Dispatches | March 22, 2007

Several TMR authors and one about-to-be TMR author have new or recent books out.  Michele Morano, whose troubling essay “About Wayne” appeared in Volume 23, Number 2, recently published Grammar Lessons, Translating a Life in Spain (University of Iowa Press).  Grammar Lessons is a memoir of Morano’s first year living in Spain, in the early ’90s, and of the process of learning a new culture, as reflected and “ruled” by the language of that culture.  Michael Downs’s new book, House of Hope, A Promise for a Broken City (University of Nebraska Press), is also nonfiction.  It’s the account of five inner-city high-school athletes from Downs’s poverty-ridden hometown of Hartford, Connecticut.  Downs’s book is the story of the five young men’s mutual promise to commit themselves to succeeding in life and improving their hometown (a promise not completely fulfilled).  It’s also his story of deciding to leave Hartford.  Downs appeared in TMR 29:2 with his striking short story about love and (literally) scars of the past, “At the Beach.”

It has been a number of years since we published “Wishbones,” (Volume 24, Number 1), Ann Joslin Williams’s story of a young sister and brother whose father has been killed and whose grieving mother has withdrawn from caring for them in their isolated cabin home and is slowly starving herself. Now the story is out in a collection of linked stories, The Woman in the Woods, (Eastern Washington University Press), winner of the 2005 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction.

Finally, forthcoming in our summer issue is a new story by Michelle Richmond, author of the novel Dream of the Blue Room and a collection of stories, The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress.  Richmond, who also publishes an online literary journal, just published a new novel, The Year of Fog, with Delacorte.  Watch for her strange and suspenseful story of international intrigue, “Hum,” in Volume 30, Number 2 of The Missouri Review.