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A New Book From Amy Reed

More good news today from Contrarian Amy Reed. We published her story “How You Remember Her” in 2007 and it promptly won numerous awards. Today she announces: I am so excited to announce that my new book, TELL ME MY NAME, officially releases into the world TODAY! The hardcover, ebook, and audiobook are available at all [...]

Contrary Poet Wins Ex Ophidia Prize

Excuse our French, but our raison d’etre is to support young writers, so we were cheered to receive this news from Ben Admussen: “Contrary was the first journal to publish Karina Borowicz, many years ago, so I thought your readers might be interested to know that her third poetry collection, Rosetta, has won the Ex [...]

Review: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys Colson Whitehead Doubleday, 2019 Colson Whitehead’s ninth novel deserves all the hype. Though it’s many things—a bildungsroman, a modern slave narrative—it’s first and foremost great fiction with the artifice of a suspenseful plot and a twist-ending. Whitehead uses these elements to explore themes of moral development and identity in the crucible of [...]

Review: The Not Wives by Carley Moore

  The Not Wives by Carley Moore is a personal look into the lives of three women living in New York City during the time of Occupy Wall Street. Told through three alternating points of view, the story mainly follows Stevie, a soon-to-be divorced professor, as she navigates dating, protesting, and being a mother.  We [...]

In Defense of YA Lit

I am of the (perhaps unpopular) opinion that not all books have to be great. Sure, I want it to be readable, but just how every movie will not be Oscar worthy, neither will every book be the next Great American Novel. And that’s ok. What I want out of most of the books I [...]

Review: Fly Already by Etgar Keret

  “Fly Already” by Etgar Keret is a book full of contradictions. Composed of twenty-two short stories, Keret explores topics ranging from mundane to unsettling, no two stories exactly alike. Some deal with topics that could loosely be put under the umbrella of science fiction, others are just about interpersonal relationships and how they can [...]

Interview with Leah Beckhoff

Leah Beckhoff resides in the mountains of Vermont but is originally from Northeast Philadelphia. Every morning she digs a notebook out from under her pillow and records her dreams. “Abandoned Art,” in the Spring 2019 issue of Contrary, is her first publication. Bridget Bradshaw: First, congratulations on your first publication! How does that feel? Did you [...]

The Magic of Libraries

Libraries have a history going back thousands of years. One of the most famous libraries, the Library of Alexandria, is believed to have been founded in 295 B.C.E. and was supposed to have held the greatest collection of ancient literature ever gathered. Thinking more modernly, the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. is the largest library [...]

Summer 2019 Announcement and Call for Submissions

is here! And it is headed by “And the Wounded Disappear” by Douglas Cole, a mysterious story about brotherhood and memory. See how our contrarians write about pain, loss, and redemption in the new poems by Emma Depanise, Laura Lee Washburn, Sally Zakariya, and Nicholas Alti, and new stories by Jim Gash, Vinitia Swonger, and J. [...]

Interview with Best of the Net Winner Carolee Bennett

Carolee Bennett lives in Upstate New York, where –after a local, annual poetry competition –she has fun saying she was the “almost” poet laureate of Smitty’s Tavern. She has an MFA in poetry and works full-time as a writer in social media marketing.    Bridget Bradshaw: Did you write these three poems specifically to submit [...]

Review: Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

  Gravity is the Thing is a novel by Jaclyn Moriarty that follows Abi Sorenson, a woman whose life changes drastically on the days preceding her sixteenth birthday for two reasons. The first is that her brother and closest confidant, Robert, disappears. The second is that she receives the first of many chapters from The [...]

Interview with Best of the Net 2018 Winner Abby Minor

Abby Minor lives in the ridges and valleys of central Pennsylvania where she works on poems, essays, paintings, quilts, and projects for reproductive justice. The recipient of fellowships, residencies, and awards from Bitch Media, Split this Rock, The Rensing Center, The Penland School of Crafts, and the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust, Abby is an advisory [...]

Art of the Letter

  It seems the more technology that gets invented, the less hard-copy communication we have. Mailboxes are now full of advertisements and bills, and sometimes not even that; everything is moving online. I am not saying this is a bad thing, not at all. The convenience that comes with the internet is unparalleled. I could [...]

Review: The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

  Christina Henry’s The Girl in Red takes the well-tread story of Little Red Riding Hood and combines it with today’s fascination with dystopian apocalypse scenarios. It’s not necessarily new to put a dark and gritty spin on old fairy tales, but it doesn’t always stick the landing. In this case, I think it does. [...]