ISSUE 13: THE UNKNOWN


09.06.2013

New writers are often urged to write what they know. The suggestion, of course, is that you shouldn’t start with writing about the foibles of 18th-century French aristocracy if you grew up on a farm in North Dakota. This is good advice, though if we never wrote anything but what we knew for sure, we’d be writing nothing but blogs about what we had for dinner. The great strength of writing what we know is that it can shed light on the universal truths that thread through the lives of farmhands and princes alike.

But if one purpose of writing is to create a window into what a writer knows to be true, surely writing is also a way to investigate the void together. The great unknowns of human life have been the subject of art since humans first listened to the hum of the universe and drew symbols on cave walls. In this issue of Slice, the stories resonate with human mysteries—great and small. We don’t understand why parents leave their children. We can’t fully grasp the twisting shapes of desire. We can’t figure out how to reconcile our past with our present. We can’t comprehend the minds of our lovers. We don’t know how to make sense of life’s tragedies.

Many of this issue’s wordsmiths have created art from what they don’t know. We hope you’ll dive into the void.


Interviews


Julie Barer

Allison Lorentzen

Pablo Medina

Rick Moody

Stan Parish

Francine Prose 

Bill Roorbach


Stories


Susan Daitch

Kimberly Elkins

Paul Florez

Tom Macher

CJ Hauser

Scott Lambridis

Norman Lock

Douglas W. Milliken

Helen Phillips


Essays


Celia Blue Johnson

Christopher Locke

Mira Ptacin

Helen Rubinstein

Nikki Van Noy

Chris Wiewiora


Poetry


Wendy Barnes

Laurel Hunt

Matthew Frazier

Kyle McCord

Jason Nemec

Rebecca Starks


Artwork


Erik Olson

Amy Judd

Jackie Tileston

Meghan Howland

Lucy Hardie

Ben Grasso

Lily Padula

Jessica Tremp

China Mike

Angie Wang

Fuco Ueda

Robyn O’Neil

Dan-Ah Kim

Ryan Pickart

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ART IN THIS ISSUE