When restauranteur Elaine Kaufman was alive, she gave writers a refuge at her favorite spot, Table 4. Even though the restaurant and Kaufman are long gone, her memory and devotion to writers live on with the Table 4 Writers Foundation. The foundation gives out $2,500 grants to writers at a gala at the New York Athletic Club on March 27. The 2013 winners include, "Bound" by Karen Yin, "Gotham Mexico" by Danny Theiman, "Kim of Noho" by Kurt Pitzer, "Parkside" by Jennie Yabroff, and "Rent Control" by Matthew Perron. Additionally, several of Elaine’s regulars will be honored, including Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark, Stuart Woods, Chazz Palminteri, and Richard Dreyfuss.
From the ages of nine to eleven, I worked as a spy. No one paid me, nor did I report my findings to any higher-ups. I discussed my cases with my partner, who went by code name Mountain Chicken Mother of the Buddha.
How does Karl Ove Knausgaard delve into some of the oldest parts of his memory for his writing? “I remember every single room that I have been in from the age of seven. What I did was to place myself in those rooms, and when I started to write about them it was like unlocking a thousand small doors, all leading further into childhood,” he told Cressida Leyshon at The New Yorker. Knausgaard also has a story, ”Come Together" (behind the paywall), in the current issue. Pair with: Our essay on My Struggle.
Thinking on this peculiar fact, the Minister got stuck on a sentence: I am further from my village now than I have ever been. Italicized just like that, in his mind.
My brother says men who are afraid of girls are gay, but Jason Miller isn’t gay. When I roll onto my back and see him staring at me, I also see a rise in his swim trunks. Last week, I saw him at the Skate & Bowl with some of his friends. He’s the best-looking of the bunch so you can imagine how ugly his friends are. They were all bowling and really getting into it like total fucking losers. I mean honestly, it’s bowling. My dad bowls. Bowling is the only thing that makes him happy but he’s old so he has an excuse. These guys are like 19 or 20 and bowling makes them happy. There’s no hope.
Find an obsessive friend who talks about health and fitness all the time—a man who isn’t self-conscious about being fixated on diet and exercise. Model yourself after him for a while. Pretend you are a member of a shamanic religion, and you must embody his archetype the way you embody the archetype of a Hunter-God or Healer-God. His iPhone fitness Apps become your sacred bundle; his cardio and strength-training regimen become your ritual worship; his hand-written notes on loose-leaf paper about macro-nutrients become your holy text. Whenever you fail in these daily devotionals, don’t punish yourself. Just reembody your obsessive friend.
He had been an asshole before the drugs and the drugs just allowed him to be the asshole he was always meant to be. Then he reached into his bag and pulled out a box of doughnuts. He told her he knew it wasn’t much but he was trying to get back up on his feet. Sarah smiled and said thank you. Then she ate a doughnut and the OD kid ate a doughnut too. Then they both grinned because they had absolutely nothing to fucking talk about. And it was okay. This wasn’t a woman called bitch by a drugged up patient. This was a woman named Sarah. And this wasn’t a man called the OD kid. This was a man whose name was David. And someone was saying they were sorry.
My father is dead; he died two months ago. At the hospital I was given his clothes, his watch, and the book he’d been reading as he ate alone at the restaurant. I searched his pockets for a note to me, first the pants and then the raincoat. Finding none, I read the book, about legal theory and Maimonides. I couldn’t make sense of the words. I had not prepared myself for his death. He had not prepared me. My mother had died when I was three. We had already dealt with death, in our way we’d agreed to be finished with it. Then, without warning, my father broke our agreement.
The short story is like an exquisite painting and you might, when looking at this painting, be wondering what came before or after, but you are fully absorbed in what you’re seeing.