I got two issues of Canteen in the mail this week and read them both over the weekend. One of the features I really liked was articles by writers about the writing life from a different perspective than we normally see. In Canteen 3, Porochista Khakpour talks about being a debut novelist and sitting in an airport, broke. The entire piece is nice, and it really speaks to the realities of making it as a writer of literary fiction. Most of us aren’t getting $7 million advances like the one a former president recently garnered, so its was illuminating to see what its really like to get a book deal but still have to live your life.
In Canteen 4, Eric Puchner and Katharine Noel write about being married to another writer. Its an essay that anyone who has dated/slept/cohabitated with another writer can see glimpses of themselves in. Its also funny and charming and that goes along way. I also enjoyed the short story Family Man. Good stuff.
What I really like about the magazine, though, is the large square design that they blatantly copied from PANK. We’ll forgive them because they clearly have good sense. The book is lovely, heavy paper, nice crisp artwork, great writing. Check it out.