$5.00 USD

Quarterly West is proud to announce that the winning novella from our 2013 contest is now for sale. Read what our judge Michael Martone had to say about it: 

We often divide stories--novellas included--into the "traditional" and the "experimental." What we usually mean by "traditional" is realistic narrative that is, in reality, a grand experiment of the early 20th century when psychological depth gets added to realistic depictions of character.  Sandy Downs is an actual traditional "traditional" story that harkens back to the transcendental wackiness of Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville, tales gone wild. There is your American traditional narrative--with its doubling, with its incest, with its deep deep desire to be transported into realms of being beyond the mere "realistic" one. Sandy Downs hits all those sublime notes and utilizes  the novella package expertly, the uncanny cannily. One must, must read out of the corner of the eye this story about reading slant, about reading about reading. The key question asked over and over is "how did you feel?" not "what did you think?" Narratives pile up upon narrative and the stories resist story-ness. Sandy Downs is being driven, in a way, by the familiar gears of detection and mystery but as with Poe and his great invention, the locked room murder may be answered but the real mystery of a great ape's is not "logically" explained. In the Rue Morgue and in Sandy Downs we enter through words into a wordlessness that is unsettling, unforgettable, un-understandable in the best of ways.

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