I had a career, I tanked it good.

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Dear Readers,

We are pleased to present Recommended Reading Vol. 2, No. 4: “Interpreters of Men Get It On” by Fiona Maazel, guest edited by The Common. This story is an excerpt from Maazel’s upcoming novel, Woke Up Lonely.

“Why couldn’t I penetrate his wounded feelings? If I got fired and had to go home, I’d hang myself from the showerhead, never mind the WAR that would be my albatross for life. Some people get the lie that broke their lover’s heart and I get a WAR? Where was the justice in that? I was just some girl from Anaheim with a crush on her parents and no talent for intimacy with anyone who mattered. Ok, so I was getting upset. And the room was a thousand degrees.”

— From “Interpreters of Men Get It On” by Fiona Maazel

Editor’s Note — Jennifer Acker, Founding Editor, The Common:

What guts Fiona has, dovetailing a linguistic translation breakthrough with the loss of innocence of a very different kind. Such exquisitely paired action can only happen here, in this nowhere rank with boredom. What sentence-by-sentence skill required to reveal a character’s emotional landscape through her efforts to hear government officials’ doublespeak. These guts and skills combine for a tense and wild ride — heroic, even — with disastrous consequences.

“Interpreters of Men Get It On” is an excerpt from Fiona Maazel’s novel Woke Up Lonely, forthcoming from Graywolf Press in April 2013. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy, and so should you.

For more place-inspired fiction — plus essays, poetry, art, and archival images — subscribe to The Common or purchase one of our three print issues individually through our online store.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy!

About Recommended Reading:

Great authors inspire us. But what about the stories that inspire them? Recommended Reading, a magazine by Electric Literature, publishes one story a week, each chosen by today’s best authors or editors.
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— Lucy Goss is an intern for Electric Literature. She majors in English at Cornell University. You can follow her here.

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