Vestal Review. Don't flash without it.

Web Issue 34
July 2008
Missing by Marcia Aldrich    
You find a janitor pushing his mop outside your office.  “You’re late,” he says as you side-step his pail, but slip. And he has to grab you  to  keep you from falling. He holds onto your arm a little longer than necessary, you think. He’s probably your age, though hard to gauge in the twilight. When he looks down at his mop after he’s detached himself from your arm, you detect shyness.    [more]      

Contributors' Notes  
What You Tell Your Therapist When He Asks Why You Have Panic Attacks by Tammy Guzman    
There are things you should never have to hear. Like your mother having sex. Loudly.
The Homecoming by Kyle Hemmings  
After the car accident, your body turned stiff as stone and I became a cloud gatherer.      

The Homecoming,  The Girl Alone in Her Room and What You Tell Your Therapist When He Asks Why You Have Panic Attacks are available only in the print  issue.
My Pacific by Ladisa Quintanilla
It felt like a fire erupted from above, invisible molten sparks singeing the hairs on my arms, melting my skin into puddles of brown tar.  It was hot.  I came home to bury my uncle.  We weren’t close, but those things are forgotten in death. [more]

Call for submissions:

Short On Sugar

An Ugly Man by Ana Marcela Fuentes
On her lunch break, she dumps Luis for Daniel Towens, the ugliest man in the county [more].
The Girl Alone in Her Room by Alissa Nutting
The girl alone in her room held a turtle whose skin reminded the girl of burned or dead skin.


Vestal Review does not get any funding. We pay our writers. Please subscribe to the print issue.

My Life at First Try, a novel. 

From Publisher's Weekly:

This blazingly fast and funny "semi-autobiographical" novel follows a Russian man's comically earnest pursuit of the American dream. As a child, Alex, living in 1950s Siberia with his parents and grandparents, sees a picture of his American-born second cousin, Annie, and he believes he has found his destiny. Throughout his formative sexual experiences, he fantasizes about Annie, who embodies the exoticness of Western culture and the wholesomeness of the American dream. By the late 1970s, when Alex's parents decide to decamp for the U.S., Alex packs up his wife and their young daughter, too, and after the trio land in upstate New York, Alex goes to work at the IBM-like HAL Corporation while his wife, Lyuba, an internist, takes longer to settle in. At first, Alex is content with his new freedom-loving democratic identity, but as his children grow and Lyuba becomes more independent the dream begins to lose its sheen. The novel is hilarious, eye-opening and, by the end, a little depressing. It's tough not to have Alex's buoyant energy rub off on the reader.


From Kirkus Review:

A funny, little-seen version of the American dream.


From Booklist:

Readers who enjoy a fast-paced narrative will take pleasure in Alex’s inquisitive journey.

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