Ernie Wang’s story ”Stay Brave, My Hercules”—which appears in this issue—won the 2018 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize For Emerging Writers.

Issue 51 features eighteen brand-new stories so compelling that you’ll read through the night and far into the next day, until your boss calls and warns you that you’re on thin ice, buddy, and better get to the office right away—but we swear it’s worth it. There are high-stakes cock fights and incredibly ill-conceived murder plots, forays into nose-picking and wisdom from gruff old mermaids, church officials dressed as tortoises and ape-urine-filled squirt guns, all under the same sumptuous hardcover roof, illustrated by Jesse Jacobs.

Plus: splendid new writing from Nadja Spiegelman, Claire Vaye Watkins, Etgar Keret, Mia McKenzie, Lawrence Weschler, Emma Hooper; a comic about one family’s experience fighting the Detroit eviction machine; a photo essay that spans the length and width of the United States; an insider exclusive about censorship within the Myanmar Times by journalist RJ Vogt; and oh so much more.

Table of Contents

Letters from Patrick Cottrell, Amy Berkowitz, Ali Liebegott, Lawrence Weschler, José Vadi, Niela Orr, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Rajeev Balasubramanyam

Nick Arvin, The Interview

Chris Dennis, This Is a Galaxy

Mia McKenzie, Crazy

RJ Vogt, A Dispatch From Myanmar

Iacopo Barison, Less, Plus

Etgar Keret, Crumb Cake

LaToya Watkins, Cutting Horses

Laura Adamczyk, The Summer Father

Armonía Somers, The Fork in the Rails

Jeff Wilson and Armin Ozdie, Eviction

Nadja Spiegelman, Mermaids

Michael Andreasen, Rite of Baptism

Merrill Feitell, Vanishing Point

Emma Hooper, This Everything

Ernie Wang, Stay Brave, My Hercules

Nathaniel Minton, Townsville

Hadley Moore, Ordinary Circumstances

Xavier Navarro Aquino, Caníbal the Real Deal