Friday, July 25, 2008

We Have Literary Journals

Literary journals are the current feature of the Austin Public Library’s periodicals collection. The Library houses a variety of wonderful literary journals ranging from the grandfathers of the genre to celebrated up-and-comers. The next time you are downtown, swing by the Faulk Central Library, pick up a literary journal, and enjoy some great contemporary writing.

The Paris Review
The quintessential literary journal. Known for founding editor George Plimpton’s larger-than-life presence and the first spot to publish numerous titans of twentieth century literature. New editor Philip Gourevitch has steered the journal away from its traditional fiction-heavy approach, and now peppers the journal with beautiful photography, reportage, poetry, and memoir. Whatever form the art takes, The Paris Review is an exceptional historical and contemporary journal.

Virginia Quarterly Review
The self-professed “national journal of literature and discussion” has a storied pedigree. The Virginia Quarterly Review—founded in 1925—has published a wide-ranging stable of writers, including Jean-Paul Sartre, Aldous Huxley, Cormac McCarthy, and Joyce Carol Oates.

This Cambridge, England based journal offers thematic issues containing short stories from around the world. Issues such as “The View from Africa,” “War Zones,” and “The New Nature Writing” provide wonderfully linked and relevant stories. Whether initially written in English or translated from a myriad of languages, GRANTA contributes a uniquely global voice.

Oxford American
Oxford American is random, and I mean that in the most complimentary manner. This southern-bent quarterly jumps between stories, music essays, and over to topics like “ode to the South.” The journal benefits from beautiful art and a refined quirky approach.

Tin House
Tin House is the new kid on the block. Founded in 1998, this Portland, Oregon quarterly has quickly earned its reputation by publishing award-winning fiction from up-coming writers. In recent years, Tin House has begun publishing books. Whether through the journal or book publishing, Tin House never fails to publish good writing. Plus, the attention to detail is wonderful; each issue is wrapped in a beautiful cover.

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