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Three Marriages | By Emily Mitchell

Categories: Fiction

From the current issue (34.2):

Eamon_Everall._The_Love_LetterShortly after they moved from their own house in Darien, Connecticut, into a retirement home near Fort Myers, Florida, Lucinda announced that she didn’t want to be married anymore to Fred, her husband of fifty-nine years. When she told her children this they were first horrified and then dismissive. She could not mean it, they said to her and to each other. She could not possibly be serious. They interpreted it as a sign that she was becoming senile, that her mind and judgment, which had until then remained very sharp, were becoming impaired. They took her to get tested for other signs of reduced cognitive function, but the doctors they spoke with found Lucinda to be lucid and competent, her memory of recent and distant events remarkably intact for someone of her age, which was eighty-three years old.

“But what about this idea that she’s going to leave my father?” her son, Harry, asked the gerontologist who administered the battery of tests. “If that doesn’t count as crazy, I don’t know what does.”

The doctor looked at him and shrugged.

“I can’t comment on whether your mother is making a sensible choice in this matter,” he said. “But she is able to talk about her decision with perfect clarity. Being sane is in no way related to being wise.”

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The Right Address

Categories: NER Classics
Photo credit to iloveoldny.com

Photo credit to iloveoldny.com

Emily Mitchell’s short story “Lucille’s House” appeared in NER 28.2:

“What were you waiting for?” Lucille asks when he gets to the top. 

“Well, I wasn’t sure this was the right address,” he says. “I didn’t want to go knocking on someone else’s front door in the middle of the night, scaring them half to death. What would you think if some strange black man came to your door in the middle of the night in this neighborhood . . .”

“I would think he probably needed a cup of coffee.”

“You know what I mean.”

“Sure, but I gave you the correct address, baby. I can see you’ve got it right there.” And indeed, he is holding the piece of paper she gave to the driver. It has the address written on it in her own handwriting. 

“I know. But, honestly . . .” he is looking past her now into the front hall. His eyes look like a child’s at Christmas before the presents are opened. “I didn’t believe that a house this nice was mine. Is it?” She sees that he is crying. He has never had a house of his own before, either. 

“It is,” she says. “It’s yours. I promise.”

Potomac Theatre Project Tribute Event for NER

Categories: News & Notes

Potomac Theatre Project will host a tribute event for New England Review in New York City on July 16, 2012, 7:30 p.m., at the Atlantic Stage 2 (330 West 16th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues). This evening features readings from five outstanding NER and Middlebury alumni authors—David Gilbert ’90, Cate Marvin, Emily Mitchell ’97, Greg Pierce, and Patrick Phillips—with a reception to follow.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Tickets are currently sold out but seats may be available on a first-come first-served basis the night of the event. Because seating was limited, we issued tickets for this event via Ticket Central.

David Gilbert has had his short stories published in the New Yorker, Harper’s, GQ, Bomb, and other magazines. His short story collection, Remote Feed, was published by Scribner in 1998, and his novel, The Normals, was published by Bloomsbury in 2004. His new novel, & Sons, will be published by Random House in May 2013. His screenplay for Joshua was made into a film starring Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga, which Fox Searchlight released in 2007. Various other movie projects are in existential stages of being and non-being. David lives in New York City with his wife and three children.

Cate Marvin is the author of two poetry collections, World’s Tallest Disaster (2001) and Fragment of the Head of a Queen (2007), both published by Sarabande. Her third book of poems is forthcoming from Norton in 2013. Her poems have recently appeared in New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Tin House. She teaches creative writing at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, and in the low-residency M.F.A. program at Lesley University.

Emily Mitchell‘s first novel, The Last Summer of the World (Norton) was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. Her stories have appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, and TriQuarterly, and is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review. Her reviews have been published in the New York Times and the New Statesman. She received her BA from Middlebury College and her MFA from Brooklyn College. She recently joined the creative writing faculty at The University of Maryland.

Greg Pierce‘s plays include Slowgirl (Lincoln Center Theater), The Landing, written with composer John Kander (Vineyard Theatre), and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, written with director Stephen Earnhart, based on the novel by Haruki Murakami (Ohio Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival, Singapore Arts Festival).  His stories have appeared in Avery, Berkeley Fiction Review, Confrontation, New England Review, and Web Conjunctions. He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, The Djerassi Institute, the New York Public Library, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center.

Patrick Phillips is a long-time contributor to New England Review and a recent Guggenheim and NEA Fellow. He is author of the poetry collections Chattahoochee, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize, and Boy, and translator of When We Leave Each Other: Selected Poems of Henrik Nordbrandt. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Drew University.