Work

Stories Online

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Cross

Michigan Quarterly Review →

“He had wedged his thigh between her legs, and she felt her feet leave the earth, felt the dampness of the building soak through the back of her dress. Gravity rearranged itself so that leaning back against the theater’s slippery verticality was enough to keep from floating off into the night.”

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The November Story

This American Life →

An edited version of “The November Story,” which originally appeared in Crazyhorse, was featured on This American Life in August, 2011. You can listen to the whole thing if you click the link. Yes, this is my voice. No, it isn’t a true story. No, I didn’t get to meet Ira. Yes, recording this is the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten to do.

 

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The Way You Hold Your Knife

Ecotone →

“Ulf, the museum director, whose hand she’d shaken on the way in, who had offered her a sympathetic and conspiratorial nod, announced loudly from the information desk in Danish, then English, that the museum would close in ten minutes. A few people began to leave—the boys with the sneakers followed their parents toward the exit—but there were still twenty people now, maybe thirty, clustering together near the windows, feigning interest in the wall plaques and photos of carnivorous plants.”

BASS2009

The Briefcase

New England Review →

Anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2009 and elsewhere.

“With his left hand, he adjusted the loop of steel that cuffed his right hand to the line of doomed men. His hand was starved, his wrist was thin, his body was cold: the cuff slipped off. In one beat of the heart he looked back to the man behind him and forward to the man limping ahead, and knew that neither saw his naked, red wrist; each saw only his own mother weeping in a kitchen, his own love lying on a bed in white sheets and sunlight.

Listen to Isaiah Sheffer’s interview with Rebecca about The Briefcase

The Nashville Review

Wedding Night

Nashville Review →

“I’m seventeen years old, sitting with Randy Osterman on his picnic bench. He’s got his dad’s binoculars trained on the bride, but I’m watching the couple in the gazebo stare out across the lake and garden. You can tell they’re talking about the wedding, how expensive and lovely and delicious, what an unusual location. She hands him her champagne glass so she can reach her hand under the hem of her bright pink dress and fix her slip.

New stories in print

cross

Cross

Michigan Quarterly Review →

“He had wedged his thigh between her legs, and she felt her feet leave the earth, felt the dampness of the building soak through the back of her dress. Gravity rearranged itself so that leaning back against the theater’s slippery verticality was enough to keep from floating off into the night.”

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Our Plastic-American Brethren

New South →

“Kurt enjoyed picturing their shock, the dim-witted thieves, as they unzipped the black canvas bags. Right about now they’d be squatting on the floor of some desolate apartment with Ziplocs of marijuana on the coffee table and a broken TV. One of them, most likely named Cletus, spreads the flaps and sees, gaping up, the putty-colored face, the serenely closed eyes, the plastic sheeting vomiting forth from the O-shaped mouth of a Plastic-American brother, and he, Cletus, screams like a little girl, or like the junkie he is.”

Ecotone_11_cover

The Way You Hold Your Knife

Ecotone →

“Ulf, the museum director, whose hand she’d shaken on the way in, who had offered her a sympathetic and conspiratorial nod, announced loudly from the information desk in Danish, then English, that the museum would close in ten minutes. A few people began to leave—the boys with the sneakers followed their parents toward the exit—but there were still twenty people now, maybe thirty, clustering together near the windows, feigning interest in the wall plaques and photos of carnivorous plants.”

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The November Story

Crazyhorse →

“Markus is a gifted crier. We just say, “Tell us how your grandfather would feel,” and he gushes like Miss America. “My grandfather would be so proud of me,” he says, and blows a kiss to the sky.
Or we ask if he feels that his whole life has been a struggle. He says, “I just feel like my whole life has been just this huge struggle,” and then he starts snorting and choking and holds up a finger.
The producers love the criers, and they love the cocky bastards, and they love the snarky gay men. The others, we try to get drunk. We flirt with the straight guys, if there are any. If necessary, we feed them lines.

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Peter Torrelli, Falling Apart

Tin House →

“ When Carlos asked why I would risk my whole career for Peter Torrelli, I told him he had to understand that in those last three years of high school, Peter and I were the only two gay boys in Chicago. Because I really believed it, back then, and twenty-five years of experience proving otherwise was nothing in the face of that original muscle memory: me and Peter side by side on the hard pew during chapel, not listening, washed blind by the sun from the high windows, breathing in sync. It didn’t matter that we weren’t close anymore, I told Carlos. The point was, he’d been my first love. I’d never actually loved him, but still, listen, believe me, there’s another kind of first love.

Books

The Hundred-Year House 2
100yrhouse
The Borrower

The Borrower

Penguin Paperback

In Rebecca Makkai’s debut novel, a librarian and a young boy obsessed with reading take to the road. Kirkus Reviews calls The Borrower “smart, literate and refreshingly unsentimental.”

 

More details →
© 2014 Rebecca Makkai