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Marshall_fig_1, Marshall_fig_2, Illustration by Megan Eckman

IN WHICH A COFFIN IS A BED BUT AN OX IS NOT A COFFIN

fiction by Brenda K. Marshall

The winter of 1881 found Frances Bingham reluctantly arrang­ing for her move from the spacious comfort of her father­-in­-law’s bonanza farm on the Dakota prairie to her almost­ com­pleted new home six miles away in Fargo. The arrangement that had suited both Percy and Frances since she had joined him in Dakota three years earlier—in which Percy insisted that he would soon leave his job as a newspaperman for the Fargo Argus to make a new start back east, and Frances, in turn, rea­soned that it made no sense for her and their son, Houghton, to move to Percy’s two rooms above the Argus in the meantime—had come to an end with Percy’s newfound respectability as Fargo’s delegate to the upcoming Fifteenth General Assembly of Dakota Territory. A man with a promising political career, Percy now insisted, must have his own home in Fargo, and his wife must live in that home with him, and not with his sister and father-­in­-law nearby.

spring2010

Spring 2010

Ranen Omer-Sherman on Israeli writers and Levantine identity … Paul Anderson on Stanley Cavell and James Agee … Frank Meola on Thoreau in New York … Prose poetry from Philippe Jaccottet … reports on figure modeling from Robert Long Foreman and on a gathering of Esperanto devotees in Turkey from Esther Schor. Fiction by Laura Kasischke, Sharona Muir, Cameron Mackenzie. Plus many poems and a couple reviews …

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So what.

by Ashley David

The dog is curled up at my feet, just close enough to worry me that her paws might get tangled up in the rocker if I’m careless. The fan is spinning overhead. The Thermacell is emitting toxic fumes to repel the gazillion mosquitoes that populate my world, and it’s hot, hot, humid August on my porch in Athens, Georgia, where classes have already started and summer is officially over. But, not for me. Although my to-do list is long and daunting, it’s Sunday afternoon, and I am reading MQR for fun. So what if summer’s over.

IRAN TODAY

photoessay by Christopher Thornton
(with an introduction by Jonathan Freedman and commentary by Juan Cole)

Late last summer, longtime MQR contributor Chris Thornton sent us his “Letter from Tehran” detailing his experiences during the demonstrations that followed Iran’s stolen election, and along with it, photographs documenting all aspects of Iranian life. Both offered vivid accounts of a society whose vis­ible contradictions—just then exploding into violence—were being played out in public and private alike. We are happy to print his piece and a selection from the photographs he sent us. And to gloss the issues involved, we called upon Michigan professor Juan Cole, one of the leading scholars of the Mideast and the Islamic world and the author of an indispensable blog, to write a commentary on some of the most striking photographs. We’re grateful to be able to print his commen­tary at the end of our selection from Thornton’s ensemble of images.

Special Issue Covers

Special Issues

Select back issues of The Michigan Quarterly Review still available for purchase. Topics cover the automobile and American culture, perestroika and Soviet culture, contemporary American fiction, the male and female bodies, the Bible and its traditions, Jewish in America, Arthur Miller, the movies, and much more.