Sunday Stories: “Gershon”

Docked boat

by Maury Gruszko

Having been puking off the wrong side of the ship to see her in the mist in the distance of the harbor, Gershon’s awareness of the approach came not from shouts and cheers but a swift diminishment of sound, a whole stretch of silence for the first time since they were herded aboard and down into steerage. Nights had been sleepless for so many, he knew, because it was they who’d kept him awake, retching, moaning, making pleasure for themselves in the misery and stench. The stench he could conjure in his memory anytime after, always without trying and never from desire. No one at home could have warned him about steerage, no one had ever come back from אַמעריקע Amerike America, not to Łapy, which had been all he’d ever known. Had they, it wouldn’t have mattered, “choice” having not ever been much more than a word, an idea, and only rarely an option. And then, swiftly swelling like the rising roar of a deluge, the cheering began. From over one of the ship’s funnels he saw a massive, greenish torch, and then there she was. The colossal embodiment of promise.

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Matthew Robert Cooper on the Literary Inspirations Behind Eluvium’s “(Whirring Marvels In) Consensus Reality”


I’m a longtime admirer of the music Matthew Robert Cooper has made, whether it’s as Eluvium or under his own name — or one of several other aliases and projects that have added to his impressive discography over the years. Eluvium’s new album (Whirring Marvels In) Consensus Reality represents something of a shift for Cooper, who was dealing with health issues that involved changing the way he wrote. I spoke with Cooper about the literary influences underlying this new album, his thoughts on music and technology, and what he’s been reading lately.

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Sarah Gerard on “The Butter House” and the Challenges of Writing About Cats

Sarah Gerard

I’d been eager to read something new from Sarah Gerard ever since I finished their 2020 novel True Love. Imagine my happiness when, earlier this year, a package arrived at my apartment containing a new chapbook by Gerard, titled The Butter House. Have I mentioned that I’m a huge fan of single-story chapbooks? Short version: I am. And The Butter House, about a human couple living in Florida and the cats that surround them, is both an engaging read and part of what seems like a literary trend for 2023: humans imagining the lives of animals. I spoke with Gerard about the book’s origins and what sounds like a truly singular release party, among other topics.

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“Horror Has Always Been Something That People Are Drawn To”: An Interview With David Peak

David Peak

David Peak has been writing and publishing novels, short stories and essays online and in print for the last 20 or so years. His books focus on the moment when people recognizable in our daily lives meet the unknown and are either torn asunder by it, or are transformed into something horrible and beautiful. Last year Peak published The World Below (Apocalypse Party), a midwestern gothic story of two long-feuding families, brought into conflict again when their children are caught up in an ritualistic occult murder mystery. 

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