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The Drum

Issue 44. January 2014

JENNIFER OZGA The Rock

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The complexities of a date take on new dimension in Jennifer Hill Ozga's "The Rock". Ozga's story mines the rituals of contemporary dating for their vulnerabilities and power dynamics, setting her unnamed couple on a path of gentle but inexorable devolution. "The Rock" is a story about disappointment, rendered with a light touch through painfully comic details. (11:34)

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CHRISTI CRAIG The Wurlitzer

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The tuning of a piano becomes the catalyst for a relationship between two unlikely individuals. Christ Craig's "The Wurlitzer" makes subtle use of its narrative voice to bring two lonely people together in a bond created through music and memory. (10:50)

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COLLEEN HOULIHAN Are You An Animal Lover?

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"Are you an animal lover?" is the innocent question that precipitates the soul-searching rendered comically here by Colleen Houlihan. Squirrels, a video store, and a healthy amount of risk-taking and imagination feature in Houlihan's essay, in which an encounter with an unusual customer leads the writer into new and potentially taboo territory. (18:05)

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KATE WISEL Ways to Break Me

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In the hung-over aftermath of New Year's Eve, the narrator of Kate Wisel's "Ways to Break Me" finds herself exactly where she always is: in an apartment and in a relationship that is at once playground and cage. There are three people in these confined spaces, pushing and shoving at each other to assert themselves and get what they want. Wisel's story is striking for its physicality and its rendering of the drama of the body. (9:03)

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theme: comedy

theme: crisis

theme: relationships

theme: family

genre: essay

novel excerpt

short fiction

poetry

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