Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Tag: Eric Boyd

Joyce Carol Oates’s Introduction to Prison Noir

To celebrate the release of Prison Noir, the latest in Akashic’s Noir Series, we’re pleased to bring you this decidedly dark sample from the anthology: editor Joyce Carol Oates’s introduction, “Seeds for Next Year.”

Eric Boyd: Swimming Lessons

To celebrate the release of Prison Noir — the latest release in Akashic’s Noir Series and edited by National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates — we’re pleased to feature a guest post from contributor Eric Boyd, who gives insight into what it’s like to write while incarcerated.

“A Fine Catch” by Eric Boyd

Joel was fishing in Duck Hollow, on an old mill pier. A nice spot, secluded, including a three-street neighborhood accessible only by a fifty-foot bridge. Duck Hollow was surrounded by brownfield developments, but none of them ever touched the neighborhood. Joel knew folks there, knew that they enjoyed their isolation . . .

“Promises,” by Eric Boyd

There was a bird on the windowsill, a sparrow, its silhouette backlit by a view of Uptown. She remembered many sparrows during her forced trips to Mercy Hospital. She would often look out the window during her visits, watching them fly as far as downtown Pittsburgh before returning back to the hospital. That was all over now. Nothing was left to be taken care of besides the services and the will. She felt certain she’d get the house, which had been passed down through generations, from when Pittsburgh was a great city and Uptown was still a respectable place. Now, only junkies and bums lined Fifth Avenue, and the most respectable place there was a Plasma Center. If she did get the house, she thought of leaving it behind, furniture and all, with the door wide open for everyone. She knew she didn’t want the place . . .


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