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Donald Breckenridge

Donald Breckenridge is the Fiction Editor of The Brooklyn Rail, and co-Editor and co-Founder of InTranslation. He is the author of more than a dozen plays, and four novels including, And Then, which was published by Godine/Black Sparrow in the spring of 2017.

The Fall: Fall Heads Roll

Mark E. Smith—a well-read dockworker and the self-professed psychic son of a plumber—had his brain lit up by the seemingly endless possibilities of punk’s first wave and, more important, its American roots in the late-'60s sonic garage assaults of The Stooges and the demonic blues howls of Captain Beefheart.

In Conversation

TIM PRESLEY of White Fence with Donald Breckenridge

I first heard White Fence in a record store a few years ago. Family Perfume Vol 2 was playing while I was digging through the stacks, and I thought that I was listening to a Pebbles compilation; maybe these were some forgotten songs between volumes 7 and 9.


Sophia’s reflection shivered. I removed my hands from my front pockets and cracked my knuckles. She gently blew into the black coffee while holding the cup beneath her lips.

2015 Pushcart nominees
Fiction, the Brooklyn Rail

Reason, however, had soured on the vine. That and civilization itself, which struck me now as rotting ever onward—zombielike. I rejected them both at once and turned to the jungle in favor of a savage’s noble heart. Almost immediately, I was assaulted by a wind of a most disgusting nature—a hot, sulfurous wind, not for the faint of heart. I stuck my nose in it only to draw conclusions, mind you, and came away convinced that all forms of life must have a common ancestry. So much for the jungle. —from Russell by Daniel Grandbois

2015 Pushcart nominees
InTranslation, the Brooklyn Rail

A flowering tree, on the other hand, gives forth its essence when it reaches that stage known as full bloom, and in doing so, it emanates a mysterious aura comparable to the state of perfect stillness approached by a fast-spinning top, or perhaps the fleeting sensory impressions roused by a spectacular musical performance, or something like the afterglow that follows the burning act of consummation. It is this beauty, wondrous and vivacious, that never ceases to captivate the human spirit. —from Under the Cherry Blossoms by Motojirō Kajii, translated from the Japanese by Bonnie Huie

In Conversation

You, Me, Larsen, Petrus, and Dr. Díaz Grey

A Dream Come True (Archipelago Books) gathers together the complete stories of Juan Carlos Onetti into English for the very first time. To commemorate this momentous occasion I interviewed his translator Katherine Silver—we exchanged emails over the first two weeks in September.

Arabesque for Sauquoit #2

Bill looked up at the faint shadows the candlelight projected on the ceiling of his study and whispered, “People need illusions, it gives them a sense of security.”


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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