Summer reading. Summer reading lists. I have three kids, and that’s three lists and about a dozen books.
So, while it would be nice if summer were a leisurely time where I could catch up on my own reading, by the time I get my kids ready for their next grade—meaning, read all those books along with them—it’ll be September again. The last book I read was Gone Girl, and with my current tome, Shantaram, I’m going on three months now—an all-time slow for me.
That leads me to the reason why our Fictionist literary section, with both fiction and nonfiction, is so important to me. These short stories, poems, plays and book excerpts are literally what keep me in the grown-up literary world when The Fairy Series (it’s all about “series” reading for lower school now) just won’t do.
In this month’s Fictionist, we welcome one of my favorite writers, Taylor Plimpton, author of Notes from the Night: A Life After Dark, who brings us a compelling piece about a not-so-savory topic: traffic. Taylor has a keen ability to sniff out a good story—and no wonder, as he’s the son of the late George Plimpton, a mentor of mine, who inspired my penchant for fine writing. The Paris Review, which George ran alongside founder Peter Matthiessen, has been a treasure trove of tales by the world’s best and most promising writers for 60 years now. (Yes, some people still like to read!) Taylor’s own literary skills were honed in the process, which is why—as of our next issue, in September—he’ll begin his tenure as our literary editor, in search of first-rate stories.
Submissions for Fictionist for both Manhattan and our new, Hamptons-based publication, Beach, can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcome to our family, Taylor!