Experimental, Still Real

Iron Horse Literary Review, Volume 15.3 – Nonfiction Issue 2013



Interesting that IHLR would put out an occasional nonfiction issue. Actually, not so much: for reasons I can only guess at, readers are yearning for real tales these days, and this issue gives the latest stylistic leavings from such writers’ memories. A number of these pieces tinker outright with structure. Some with the older form of one tale braided with another, seemingly unrelated tale, the two ultimately making sense. Others, as with flash fiction trifle with brevity. Interesting, one and all.

No matter the inventiveness involved, I find such pieces ultimately unsatisfying; they seem too sketchy, too disjointed to make their case. But then that’s what experimentalism is all about—trying to find new ways to tell a possibly old tale. But to specifics:

Brian Doyle’s “When You’re Out of Schlitz You’re Out of Beer” is a short piece that juxtaposes a beer jingle with a Christmas musical, and in this case brevity works.

“On the Smell of Skunk,” by Kyle Minor, is a rollicking road tale that shows us the oddities of American life, writ small.

And Roxanne Gay begins her piece “Feminism (N): Plural” begins disarmingly this way: “Feminism is flawed.” It goes on to, in very few words, spell out the traps of large social movements while giving the reader a lesson in self-disclosure.

It’s a fun issue. Read it.


Visit my website here, where you’ll have an opportunity to download an audio eversion of my latest, Sam’s Place, as well as select book review podcasts. Then there’s my FB Fan Page here. On both you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me – and possibly to you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s