Literary Magazine Reviews – Vol22, 3&4

Posted October 1, 2005

Volume 22 Numbers 3 & 4

Fall/Winter 2005


Reviewed by Anna Sidak

This issue of AQR devotes 80 pages of photo-essay to: “Chechnya: A Decade of War,” by Heidi Bradner. “A Chechen woman holds photographs of her missing sons [. . .].” For those not au courant, Stalin deported the Chechen nation to this desolate area during World War II. Deborah A. Lott’s “Fifteen,” a moving account of her father’s legacy of insanity provides this remarkable insight: “That I made the mistake of aligning myself with the parent who was crazy because I confused his intensity with love.” John Fulton’s novella, “The Animal Girl,” recounts the summer of discontent of a grieving girl who takes desperate and, finally, criminal steps to reconnect with reality. Four interesting short stories: The inexplicable grief in “Errands of the Broken-Hearted,” by Robert Vivian is followed by Linda McCullough Moore’s domestic travail in “A Night to Remember.” In “Lake Moriah” by Howard Luxenberg, a father distracts his thirteen-year-old son from going hunting—to hunt Nazis, the boy’s mother says. Five of the seven prose pieces deal with parent/child relationships. Carol Ghiglieri’s “Stella by Starlight,” is a night in a barroom with a happy ending; a feature shared by all the prose in this issue—perhaps editor Ronald Spatz wanted to distract, for a moment, from the pain and despair of the photo-essay, although “Where Things Are,” Steven Schutzman’s bitter play loses yards in the game between mother and son. Among work by twenty-three poets, I especially enjoyed Thom Satterlee’s “Wyclif Practices the Art of Definition [. . .]” and Grace Paley’s “Then,” and noticed that while most use short titles as nature intended, several, in addition to Satterlee, resorted to lengthy prose. [Alaska QuarterlyReview, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive (208 ESB), Anchorage, AK 99508.] Anna Sidak