Jul/Aug 2021

e c l e c t i c a
n o n f i c t i o n


(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Familiar Stranger

So why was I primed for wild suspicions? What led me to imagine misfortune?

Sydney Lea

One Year After the Break-in

What did Nixon's people want with me in 1972? Maybe the hardliners saw me as a kid with good recommendations, including one from John Ehrlichman. Maybe they needed a young Ivy League lawyer to front for their slash-and-burn tactics, a naïf who'd help wrap the attack line in a cloth of respectability.

Anthony Mohr


When faced with questions about the nature of birdsong, many ornithologists respond within a biological and/or evolutionary framework (e.g., a bird sings to attract a mate) with scant attention to the musical and aesthetic qualities of the songs. The variance, richness, and complexity of many birdsongs far transcend any biological, functional requirements. How to account for the indulgent improvisations and soaring double-throated arias?

Evan Silver

Trans Origin Story of the Jackelope

I'm a graduate student and may get around to manning up one of these days, but right now I mostly just feel resentful of and stressed out by postdoctoral applications asking me to describe my gender and state my pronouns every damn day. It feels rushed and, frankly, too expedient to lean into my vast and deep well of loneliness transmasculinity for the purposes of making my gender diversity legible on the academic job market. I'd like transition on my own schedule, please.

Margaret Speer

To Live and Die in LA

The only other occupant in the elevator was a young woman who worked at the agency in a secretarial or production capacity. I'd seen her around. No cellphones back then, or we'd each have been gazing at one, mouthbreathing. I smiled and nodded. She moved next to me, into "my space." The eye contact that had begun with acknowledgment intensified. Then she did something that still elicits goose bumps: I was wearing a polo shirt, and she touched my bare arm with the back of an index finger, grazing it from inner elbow to wrist and back again. While locking eyes and dimpling just a little with a slight smile. Not a word.

Guinotte Wise