Culture & Literature
The Paris Review

The Paris Review Summer 2017

The Paris Review publishes the best fiction, poetry, art, and essays from new and established voices, and the Writers at Work interviews offer some of the most revealing self-portraits in literature.

United States
The Paris Review Foundation, Inc.
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4 Issues

In this issue

1 min.
new from drawn & quarterly

Hostage Guy Delisle “Guy Delisle conveys great, slow-burning tension in this sublime account of what Christophe Andre endured as a hostage in Chechnya.” —Joe Sacco, cartoonist of Palestine“Hostage explores the psychological effects of solitary confinement, the repercussions of negotiating with kidnappers and the nature of freedom.” —The Guardian Boundless Jillian Tamaki “Jillian Tamaki’s finely hewn tales read like transmissions from a parallel universe just as lonely as our own, but in a more beautifully felt, hilariously ephemeral way.” —Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine“Jillian Tamaki seems capable of drawing anything, in any style, and making it appear effortless. Her writing could be described in the same way, and it’s thrilling to see those twin skills of hers united in service of these daring, unpredictable, and quietly strange…

3 min.
robert b. silvers 1929–2017

Bob and I lived on a barge in Paris for about a year and a half. He appeared in my life in 1955, when George Plimpton jumped on the barge (there was no phone) and asked me if this wonderful, brilliant fellow who was about to run The Paris Review could possibly move onboard since I had a spare room. I met Bob, and we immediately hit it off. I was studying at the Sorbonne, and Bob clearly knew more than any of my teachers. He moved in and we had quite an unusual life. Musicians of all sorts would fall by to jam, girls from the nearby Crazy Horse would drop in on their breaks while Bob was interviewing some author or editing some piece for the Review. Nothing…

4 min.
homer from the ‘odyssey,’ book 1

Tell me about a complicated man. Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy, and where he went, and who he met, the pain he suffered in the storms at sea, and how he worked to save his life and bring his men back home. He failed to keep them safe; poor fools, they ate the Sun God’s cattle, and the god kept them from home. Now goddess, child of Zeus, tell the old story for our modern times. Find the beginning. All the other Greeks who had survived the brutal sack of Troy sailed safely home to their own wives—except this man alone. Calypso, a great goddess, had trapped him in her cave; she wanted him to be her husband. When the year rolled round in which the gods decreed he should go home to Ithaca, his…

16 min.
what’s wrong with you? what’s wrong with me?

How many white women you been with?” The room was filled with good smoke and we drifted off behind it. “What’s your number?” Dub looked at Rye real serious like he was asking about his mom’s health. I leaned forward from the couch and took the burning nub of joint from his outstretched hand. We called him Dub because his name was Lazarus Livingston—Double L. His parents named him to be a football star. He could play once upon a time, but not like Rye. Rolls, who was too high, chimed in: “Stop it, bruh, that shit’s not important.” “Of course it is. I’m finna touch every continent,” Dub said. “White’s not a continent,” Rolls said. “You know what I mean.” “I know you never won a geography bee,” Rolls said. The room was streaked with haze like we…

6 min.
five poems by frederick seidel

CHERNOBYL Each of us is also a ghost. Most you can see. They look like the person you are. Hers is a series of beautiful blurred action Images of an antelope attacking and killing And eating a fully grown alpha lion. The lion’s broken head Sticks out of his mane on the pillow, bloody red, almost dead, And then the reactor exploded, typical of love. Hello, hello, hello, hello. I’m here, it’s me, hello. I’m my ghost. I’m the heavenly piercing freshness of no pain after your pain. I’m the soft perfume of warm August rain. I’m the rope of distance that ties me to you That makes no sense, but I do, and it does. I want to be huge, And a deluge, and a refuge. I want to be your forever voice message. I want to be late dinners at the outdoor restaurant In the sweet radioactive night…

35 min.
percival everett

Percival Everett was born in 1956 and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. After graduating from the University of Miami, he began a philosophy degree at the University of Oregon, then transferred to a master’s program in fiction at Brown, where he wrote his first book, Suder (1983), a comic novel about a third baseman for the Seattle Mariners whose attempts to shake a slump lead him on an odyssey across the Pacific Northwest in the company of an elephant and a young runaway. Everett has earned a following as a master of many genres who has a taste for the absurd. His work includes crime novels (The Body of Martin Aguilera, Watershed), revisionist Westerns (God’s Country, Walk Me to the Distance), retellings of Greek myth (Zulus, For Her Dark Skin,…