Issue #1

 Table of Contents


Frederic Tuten, L'Odysée

Martha McPhee, 5 Favorite Novels About Women Behaving Badly

Cynthia Ozick talks to Alessandra Farkas

Yiyun Li talks to Noreen Tomassi

Terese Svoboda, Mexican Honeymoon

Stuart Dybek, Inland Sea

Kim Chinquee, Rib

Manuel Martinez, Travel Tips

Alan Cheuse, Nailed
Peter Cameron, The End of My Life in New York

Vyacheslav Pyetsukh, Friday

John Brandon, Be Good to Our Pretty Girls

Libbie Chellew, Big River



Letter from the Editor


Welcome to The Literarian, the new online journal for the Center for Fiction. We’re here to celebrate and support the extraordinary breadth of literary fiction in the U.S. and around the world. To that end, we bring you original work by writers with widely diverging approaches to the short story (Alan Cheuse, Terese Svoboda, Stuart Dybek, Kim Chinquee, Manuel Martinez, and Frederic Tuten) and interviews with authors of different generations (Cynthia Ozick, Yiyiun Li).  You won’t want to miss Martha McPhee’s salute to five great novels about women behaving badly, Sam Lipsyte’s reading (on video) from his scary-funny novel The Ask, and our monthly sampling of the most interesting literary magazines out there, including Australia’s Wet Ink and the St. Petersburg Review, which includes stories written in English alongside Russian work in translation.


A few years ago, I was talking with a Russian man who asked whether I’d read the Russian writers. Of course, I started rattling on about Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov…when he politely said, “No, I mean the Russian writers who are alive.” So now I am happy to recommend the powerful and provocative story Friday, by the very much alive Vyacheslav Pyetsukh.


In upcoming issues we will bring more emerging writers into the mix. To submit original work, please send a word doc or rtf to To recommend a partnership with your journal, please write to


We hope you enjoy our debut. Start here.  


Dawn Raffel



Also On Our Site


"The Model Short Story," showcasing Richard Ford's "Sweethearts"


Martha Southgate on Toni Morrison and how The Bluest Eye made Southgate a reader


Caroline Leavitt on getting unstuck


"So You Want to Start Your Own Micro-Press?" by literary DYI by Kevin Sampsell


"The Writers' Group Manifesto" on how to find power in numbers by Katharine Davis


And be sure to check out our events; we hope to see you here.




Dawn Raffel
Editor of The Literarian

Dawn Raffel's newest book is a story collection, Further Adventures in the Restless Universe. She is also the author of a novel, Carrying the Body, and a previous collection, In the Year of Long Division. She was a fiction editor for many years, followed by a seven-year stint as Executive Articles Editor at O, The Oprah Magazine and three years as Editor-at-Large at More magazine; she has also taught in the MFA program at Columbia University and at SLS St. Petersburg, Russia. She is now Editor at Large, Books at Reader's Digest. She lives outside New York City with her husband and sons.