These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

THE FLORIDA REVIEW: Includes a Jealous Stew

Today we welcome another university literary journal to the newsstand. The Florida Review is published twice a year by the English Department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and just celebrated its 30th anniversary. It's a solid publication, featuring short fiction, poetry and an interesting comic lit section.

Unless you're some sort of lit expert, there's not a lot you can write about a literary journal to separate it from all the other journals, and I doubt if anyone but another expert would find such distinctions of interest. Almost all publish a mix of short fiction and poetry, and you like what you like. Not many magazines on newsstands today carry serious fiction and poetry, but we're very pleased that the newsstand is a place where you can find dozens of literary journals, some independent and others from university presses.

Back to The Florida Review. I've just finished the Fall 2005 issue, and I must tell you about one short story that I really enjoyed. It's by William Jablonsky, who published his first collection of short fiction in 2005. Called "Tandoori Chicken and Chinese Lanterns," this story is about a fellow who desperately loves his bride of two years and hopes to keep her affections by cooking her sublime meals. It starts out:

"Lie next to her in bed, lift up her old T-shirt, and gently press your ear to her abdomen, listening to the happy gurgling of her stomach as she digests the dinners you prepare so painstakingly, just for her. Catalog the sounds, match her response to each meal: the sparse plunking of chicken tikka masala, like water dripping into a bucket; the sustained, low moan of lamb and eggplant tagine; the quiet chirping of Egyptian veal stew, echoing just beneath her ribcage. This is what you have to offer; you are not gifted with good looks, cannot sing a love song respectably or write love poems in her honor, are not particularly romantic, are certainly not the best lover she has ever had. At your wedding, your own brother, in a moment of drunken insight, confirmed your fears: she was marrying beneath her, you were lucky she did not know it. But your three semesters of culinary school are not the expensive, impractical blunder they seemed at first, and each time she smiles and rubs her belly, you gain a small victory."

But our insecure husband fears the worst when she arrives home very late from work, ruining the chicken Malai that's been simmering on the stove. She explains that a meeting went overtime and that she and her coworkers shared pizzas at the conference table. But that evening his worst fears are confirmed:

"Wait until bedtime to forgive her completely. Lie with your arm over her chest until you hear her light, airy snore. Listen to her stomach, your ear not quite touching her skin. An alternating trickling and bubbling: Thai basil and fish sauceā€•a red beef curry, perhaps Pud Thai. Though you have not eaten there in months, remember that the Thai restaurant in town neither delivers nor accepts takeout orders. Creep quietly out of bed, drink a shot of the sake you use for marinades, lie awake until five in the morning wondering why she lied."

This jealous stew bubbles on furiously for several more pages of The Florida Review, and I was sorry that the meal had to end. Jablonsky writes as well as his hero with the extraordinarily talented ear can cook.

An annual subscription to The Florida Review (two issues) is $15.00 a year from the publisher; we'll send you a sample copy for $2.59.


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