The Spring 2015 issue of Crossborder approaches!

Rejoice! The spring 2015 issue of Crossborder is coming out in March, and will feature great writing from Rachel Luria, Aaron Tillman, Dustin M. HoffmanMark Spitzer, Sohrab Homi Fracis, Gabriele Glang, Michael Casey and Terrance Manning, Jr.

In the meantime, check out some links to their work to help get you acquainted. Consider it your literary warmup.

Order back issues of Crossborder, read excerpts and subscribe on our website.

5 other notable sequels to take your mind off “Go Set a Watchman”

We’ve all heard that Harper Lee is releasing a sequel to her famed debut novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Last week, Harper Lee’s lawyer, Tonja Carter, released a statement from the author saying she was “extremely hurt” by claims that she was being pressured into releasing Go Set a Watchman. There have been instances where the posthumous publication of a writer’s work has been questioned — like the unpublished J.D. Salinger stories that are supposed to come out later this year — but it’s rare for a living writer to be this opaque about a book of theirs. Considering Lee’s lawyer has herself come under scrutiny, and most official statements are being released through her, it’s difficult for anyone to make any definitive kind of sense out of the whole thing at this point.

So, to take your mind off the whole confounding issue, here are a few other noteworthy sequels to famous novels.

1. Ulysses, by James Joyce

ulysses

Source: theaustinreview.org

Ulysses is not necessarily a sequel. But it does take place in the same world as Joyce’s debut, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and it does prominently feature Portrait’s protagonist and Joyce’s literary alter-ego Stephen Dedalus. It’s also the most famous book on this list.

2. Tales From Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Source: bridgemanimages.com

Source: bridgemanimages.com

Twenty-four years after he published his most famous novel, Watership Down, Richard Adams published a follow-up collection of nineteen short stories set in the same rabbit-populated world. Tales From Watership Down is divided into three sections. The first two sections tell some of the rabbit mythology of El-ahrairah, their trickster folk hero, and the final section follows several of Watership Down’s characters through adventures that take place after the novel.

3. Closing Time, by Joseph Heller

Source: barnesandnoble.com

Source: barnesandnoble.com

Like To Kill a Mockingbird, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 is frequently taught in high school classrooms across the U.S. Closing Time picks up with Catch-22 protagonist John Yossarian fifty years after the end of the war, as he struggles with his advancing age. Other characters from the Catch-22 make appearances as well, including Milo Minderbender and Chaplain Tappman.

4. No Longer at Ease, by Chinua Achebe

Source: african-sweetheart.com

Source: african-sweetheart.com

Chinua Achebe’s 1958 debut novel Things Fall Apart is arguably one of the more influential works in the African literary canon. Two years after its publication, Achebe published a sequel of sorts, titled No Longer at Ease, which features Obi Okwonko, the grandson of Things Fall Apart’s protagonist, Okwonko. No Longer at Ease is often considered the second in a three-part series, the third of which is Achebe’s 1964 Arrow of God. 

5. Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King

Source: goodreads.com

Source: goodreads.com

Stephen King’s first novel was Carrie, which has since become a popular and influential story in its own right, but the book to really cement King’s status as the reigning king of horror fiction was The Shining in 1977. In 2013, King published a sequel, Doctor Sleep, which features an adult Danny Torrance dealing with, among other things, a psychic cat and marauding band of torture-addicted vampires called the “True Knot.” King has called it a “return to balls-to-the-wall, keep-the-lights-on horror” on his website.

Great review of “Going Anywhere” at The Literary Review

Elizabeth Bales Frank had some good things to say about Going Anywhere by David Armstrong over at The Literary ReviewRead some highlights below.

“In spare, sometimes wry prose, Armstrong evokes characters who always feel more than they can articulate, who find themselves in a place they don’t remember setting out for. ”

“It is Armstrong’s gift to weave the fantastic into the mundane in order to show us how ordinary lives are streaked with both terror and tenderness.  Even the stories that don’t explicitly wander into Twilight Zone territory are fundamentally about mystery:  how we love, why we can’t, how we continue on regardless. ”

“The characters in … ‘Going Anywhere’ live in the darkness on the edge of town.  Fractured by loss—aimless infidelities, deflated ambition, damaged or absent children—they limp through landscapes rural but not pastoral, urban but not sophisticated. They live on the raggedy edges of urban sprawl in shabby strip malls, through nights ‘still as a crime-scene photo.’”

Read the whole review here.

Check out the book.

Call for manuscript submissions!

Leapfrog Press is currently reading submissions for our annual fiction contest. We’re proud to welcome author Mark Brazaitis (The Incurables, Truth Poker) as this year’s finalist judge. Check out our submission guidelines, then send us your work.

Once you’ve done that, take a few minutes to check out some recent contest winners.

lonesometrialsjohnnyriles

The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles, Gregory Hill (2014 first place winner)

(review of Hill’s previous novel East of Denver)

GoingAnywhereCBSD2

Going Anywhere, David Armstrong (2013 first place winner)

(review at The Literary Review, “Declarations” at Narrative)

jacob white dead in sc cover

Being Dead in South Carolina, Jacob White (2012 first place winner)

(interview at Crossborder, review at Publishers Weekly)

Crossborder March 2014 Issue

Heads up! The next issue of Crossborder is coming soon. If there’s a story you really love, please let us know and we will contact the author for an interview. You can subscribe here.

Spring 2014 Cover face - no bleed.indd

A Diner on the Edge of Town Alcy Leyva
There’s a Wait Jordan Smith
Orpheum Kevin Oderman
Isolation (poem) Eileen Berry
River, Clap Your Hands Cynthia Hawkins
A Lawyer in Islamistan Ali Eteraz
An Economic Novel Mark Brazaitis
Forgotten Exiles Cyril Dabydeen
When the Frost Comes Erin Pringle-Toungate
Words in Skin Alcy Leyva
Morning Sarah Gerkensmeyer

Read the opening of each story

A Diner on the Edge of Town
Alcy Leyva

Day 1

A fly walks into a diner…

(I’ll start from the beginning, sorry.)

As I tore open the sugar packet,
a piece of the pink wrapper fell from the bigger chunk,
flipped,
sashayed in the air,
and did a medium-sized backflip
into
my coffee.

There’s a Wait
Jordan Smith

Millard’s will was simple enough. The house and assets would be sold, the investments liquidated, the proceeds placed in trust in three equal shares, thus neatly avoiding estate taxes and any disagreement about who got what. There was only one additional provision. The beneficiaries would each receive one personal bequest, an object to be placed prominently in each of their homes.  For the next twenty years, until the trust dissolved and the capital was distributed, the monthly income would be paid only when the trustees had certified by a personal and unannounced inspection that the object was where it was supposed to be and neither altered nor disguised in any way.

Orpheum
Kevin Oderman

The bulbs on the marquee illuminated the crowd pressed close to the door, but the line ran into the half darkness down the street. Orpheum. A word exotic to the boys. They’d been to the movies before, in Bend, to the Bijoux, which their mother—it seemed a long time ago—had told them meant jewels in French. Fielding had wondered about that, jewels? That was when they had already entered the shadow of their mother’s illness. She had told them a movie house was like a jewelry box, she thought, they kept the pretty things inside. The sparkling movies. Colors almost unbelievable. Simple stories. Happy endings, she’d said, and smiled her wan smile. And the boys had nodded. Already that seemed like a long time ago.

River Clap Your Hands
Cynthia Hawkins

Make shadows for me Jack. That’s what I always called Jack’s drawings when I was a kid.  With his eyes squinting into black slits of concentration and a wafting of his gnarled gray fingers gone straight, his hand would make its graceful pass over tables, walls, great pads of paper I eventually bought him, the surface growing gradually darker than its natural shade, darker until I could see the shapes he made.  Just a wave of his hand.  That’s all it took.  He was good, Jack.  He liked to add a kind of Deco flourish to limbs and fingers and the ends of hair twined with an imaginary breeze.  And Jack was drawing his self-portrait across the cracked concrete alley behind the strip mall where I was looking for boxes, the dark spindled sketch of his question-mark figure hanging like a shadow from my heels, when a woman burst through an emergency exit.  Like birds scattering off a lawn at the first hint of a doorknob twist, Jack was gone.  Just like that.

A Lawyer in Islamistan
Ali Eteraz

Mr. Eblis, a first year defence attorney in the country of Islamistan, sat in his office in the old part of Muhammadiya District and wondered if his solo practice was doomed to fail. Most people avoided criminal law like it was heresy. The trials were complicated and messy, and took an eternity.

He had wanted a high status job. Government. Academia. Morality. Anything that kept him out of court. He had hoped that upon the completion of his twelve year program he would be installed as a lecturer at Jurist’s Inn or invited to become an analyst at the Guardian Council.

An Economic Novel
Mark Brazaitis

Chapter 1

The scene in which the protagonists (soon-to-be lovers) meet: You’ll know from experience or fantasy what they say to each other, how their gestures convey a tangible longing, how, when they kiss, the world brightens, as if in a nuclear flash.

Forgotten Exiles
Cyril Dabydeen

I was meeting him again after a twenty-year lapse, and I figured he would be reluctant or self-conscious, my father. Time, distance, between us; and yes,  it would be his poverty, his house being a ramshackle place with a nondescript living room, and the doors being boards simply tacked together and the roof zinc sheets piled one on top of the other.  He’d been ailing too, arthritis wracking his bones, the relatives had said.

When the Frost Comes
Erin Pringle-Toungate

The girl and her mother sit at the small kitchen table, eating their cereal.  On TV, the weatherman stands in front of his colorful map.  He has gray hair and a red bow tie and is the same weatherman who visited the girl’s class and explained about Ls and Hs.  How Ls meant lousy weather and Hs meant happy weather—For the most part, he said.  She and the rest of the class were impressed since he was from the larger city where the shopping mall and movie theatre and hospitals were, and they saw him every night on TV, but there he was shaking hands with Mrs. Lindsey and standing in front of their chalkboard.  It was almost as good as the shopping mall Santa making a special visit, but since none of them believed in Santa anymore, the weatherman would do.

Words in Skin
Alcy Leyva

I sit back and enjoy the crunchy skin of the pig my father and uncles have roasted using smoking coals. We’re sitting in a driveway in the Bronx, but the smell of a fire pit and the rattle of dominoes screams of an island lost in their memories. My son sits at my feet with his New York Yankees hat and British character inspired toy trains which were made in China. I don’t give my son a piece because he distrusts anything new.

Morning
Sarah Gerkensmeyer

Every morning, my husband and I grab our briefcases and our stainless steel coffee thermoses.  We kiss each other on the cheek and then we kiss the dog on the cheek and then we pull the front door closed behind us and let the screen door give a happy slap.  Every morning, I set my stainless steel coffee thermos on the roof of my car and my husband sets his stainless steel coffee thermos on the roof of his car and then we open driver-side doors.  And right before ducking into the airtight spaces of our separate, efficient automobiles, every morning, we both see Harold waving at us from across the street, his other hand holding a slack hose above the brown-pocked grass.  Like usual, there’s no water coming out of the hose, and, like usual, my husband and I both wave back.