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The Drum

Issue 11. April 2011



In the first of what will be two interivews with The Drum, 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Harding spoke with editor Henriette Lazaridis Power about his experience as a rock drummer, his fascination with jazz, his views on the craft of writing, and the ways in which a writer, like a drummer, gets to keep and manipulate time.

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Jonathan Papernick's essay "First Night" imagines his parents' wedding night and contemplates the marriage and eventual divorce that grew from that first evening. The essay is a brief but poignant snapshot of a young couple stepping into a new life.

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In Drew Balfour Jameson's short story "Drown," a fishing trip--and the gutting, cleaning, and cooking of the day's catch--provides the setting for a wary encounter between a teenaged boy and the new man in his mother's life. "Drown" renders the details of fish-handling with vivid detail, and allows the relationship between the boy and the man to emerge with subtelty, though just as clearly.

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mediumshort fictioncrisisfamily

KEITH TEMPLE It's Behind You


Keith Temple's It's Behind You is a story about fame, megalomania and murder. After years in the limelight as a popular soap star, Carina Hemsley is appearing as the Good Fairy in the Christmas pantomime show of a third-rate northern theater, terrorising the cast and crew as she drinks and smokes herself to death. Audiences are down and the outlook for the holiday show isn’t good, until Carina starts receiving death threats in the post.

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mediumnovel excerptcomedy

REBECCA PAWEL Death of a Nationalist


Rebecca Pawel's Death of a Nationalist follows Carlos Tejada Alonso y Lean, a Sergeant in the Guardia Civil in Spain in 1939. The bitter civil war between the Nationalists and the Republicans has interrupted Tejada's legal studies in Salamanca. Second son of a conservative Southern family of landowners, he is an enthusiast for the Catholic Franquista cause, a dedicated, and now triumphant, Nationalist. Just as the Republicans have surrendered, and the Guardia Civil has begun to impose order in the ruins of Madrid, Tejada finds the body of his best friend, a hero of the siege of Toledo, shot to death on a street named Amor de Dios. Naturally, a Red is suspected. And it is easy for Tejada to assume that the woman caught kneeling over the body is the killer. But when his doubts are aroused, he cannot help seeking justice.

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"What is it like to be the daughter of a Nazi?" That is the question Christiane Alsop sets out to answer in her essay "Presumed Guilty". Reflecting on her father's tales of his accounts during wartime Germany, contemplating her at-times strained relationship with her father over the years, and her own reactions to the ebb and flow of power, Christiane is torn by the equal tugs of resignation and revelation. Revelation wins out, as she conveys the moral, ethical, and personal challenges of living with that difficult question.

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theme: comedy

theme: crisis

theme: relationships

theme: family

genre: essay

novel excerpt

short fiction

under 10 min

under 20 min

under 30 min

under 40 min
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