The Coil
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The Coil

Indie Lit Round-Up: What to Read This Weekend [Vol 6: Jun 8]

The Coil editor rounds up the best literary pieces from the indie Internet for you to read this weekend.

There’s a lot of stuff on the Internet to read. Here, let me help you wade through the crap to get to the good stuff. This list features stories, reviews, poems, interviews, essays, and literary whatnot that you might have missed, and you can come back every weekend for new great reads.

“This is from the second chapter, and it picks up partway through a visual survey of the Jane Austen Society of North America’s public market at the society’s annual summit. In film terms, what you’re seeing here is a portion of a tracking shot.” | Ted Scheinman gives you an excellent look inside his memoir, Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan, with the Page 69 Test at The Next Best Book Club.

“The first line in the Medieval Times employee handbook is ‘The King always wins’ even though really it’s the Champion Knight who wins and every move of the nightly joust is scripted to ensure that always happens.” | Matthew Fogarty takes you on a breathless stampede with “An Uprising of Horses at the Shaumburg Medieval Times” on Hobart.

“We wake up in the night, uncertain, unhappy, and we find each other in the darkness.” | Kaj Tanaka defines dreams and identity in “Mistaken” on Pidgeonholes.

“We discuss role models. / ‘The Comtesse de la Motte,’ Thea says.” | Gabrielle Hovendon talks juvenile offenders, drugs, and friendship in “Bonnie, Patty, Kid Glove, Ma” on Little Fiction.

“The newly established publishing arm of the Chicago Review of Books identifies itself as ‘a small press to republish classic Chicago literature in beautiful new editions.’” | Kathleen Rooney discusses the new venture and what makes a classic novel in “Is This a Classic Chicago Novel?” at The Paris Review.

“I once dated a woman whose parents had, when she was a child, bought her a Stradivarius violin.” | Robert James Russell talks about death and a Stradivarius violin in “Corpus” on Split Lip Magazine.

“Maggie and I had done plenty of kinky things over the years, but we’d stayed away from eating rare magical animals.” | Josh Denslow writes about the possible benefits of eating unicorns in “Where the Magic Is” on Catapult.

“If Montana had known Evan’s grandmother was about to toss herself off the roof, she probably would’ve sent Evan a text.” | Carissa Halston’s excellent “The Exact Same Prize” has been reprinted at Longform.

“‘The Brahms?’ she said. ‘Shall we struggle through the Brahms?’” | William Trevor strikes a chord and a balance in “The Piano Teacher’s Pupil” in The New Yorker.

The New York Times reported this week that the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has successfully uncovered two pages from Anne Frank’s diaries, which Frank covered herself in brown paper.” | Erin Bartnett discusses the ethics vs. importance of reading historical journals against a writer’s will in “Researchers Have Found Two New Pages in Anne Frank’s Diary. Should We Read Them?” on Electric Literature.

“The minute the doctor put my newborn on my chest, I knew I was going to lose him.” | Liz Howard talks about grief, motherhood, and the agony of responsibility in “Flesh of My Flesh: On Motherhood and Survival” at Yes Poetry.

“Here I Am Again Trying to Be Distance / & not the thing to occupy it or the vehicle / to move from one side of it to another no here / I am again trying to be distance that long road / the light travels to shine utopia’s rustic orange / upon the city’s brick.” | Devin Kelly has two poems up at Pidgeonholes.

“The first thing that went wrong was the emergency landing.” | Laura van den Berg has a timely story from the archives with “I Looked for You, I Called Your Name” on FSG Originals Features.

“A couple years ago I went out with a friend to a bar in downtown Orlando.” | Kristen Arnett nails it again with her most recent librarian column, “My Life Is like a Movie … Starring Librarians!” on Literary Hub.

“It was a Young Adult novel that inspired teenaged Jonathan to turn his life around.” | Ruth Ebenstein talks about books inspiring low-income youth in “Rescued by Books: Fostering Teen Literacy in Low-Income Communities” on Los Angeles Review of Books BLARB.

“I was going to say the worst thing I’ve ever written was an unfinished novel about a ‘serial love letterist.’” | James Figy interviews Jamel Brinkley in “Fail Better: Respecting the Mystery with Fiction Writer Jamel Brinkley” on Fear No Lit.

“The dishes had belonged to his grandparents and were given to him as a gift.” | Lee Krecklow has a moving piece on the things that make us whole in “Ways in Which He Furnished His Apartment” on Necessary Fiction.

“i was part of the harvest.” | Darren C. Demaree has a brief flash hybrid, “bone requires bone #29,” on Timber.

“People call me a Whitener. It’s just a nickname.” | Leland Cheuk talks about race, gentrification, and dystopia in “The Whitener” on Atticus Review.

“In Melissa Broder’s just-released debut novel, The Pisces, narrator Lucy wakes up one day in her car on the side of the road, surrounded by doughnuts, including the jelly kind, which she doesn’t even like.” | Ilana Masad talks about mental illness and new fiction treating illness in nuanced ways in “These New Novels Face the Complicated Reality of Mental Illness” on Buzzfeed.

Did you love a literary piece on the Internet this week? Tweet it to me at @leahangstman, and my DMs are always open for new ideas.

LEAH ANGSTMAN serves as Editor-in-Chief for Alternating Current Press and The Coil magazine, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, and a proofreader for Pacific Standard. Her work has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, Electric Literature, Slice Magazine, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. Find her at her website.



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Leah Angstman

Leah Angstman


Historian, The Coil & Alternating Current editor-in-chief, book nerd, author of OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA (Regal House, Jan 2022).