Louisa May Alcott and John Steinbeck Combo Pack with two previously unpublished works by two literary legends….
In our 60th issue, we’re proud to present an unpublished Louisa May Alcott story. Aunt Nellie’s Diary, published here for the first time, is told from the perspective of a single and insightful forty-year-old woman who is responsible for the care of her teenage niece. Her niece’s beautiful, worldly friend is staying with them over the summer, as is a young man—Nellie’s friend’s handsome son. According to scholars, Aunt Nellie’s Diary was written when she was quite young; nevertheless Alcott displays sharp psychological insight into the characters who inhabit the seemingly carefree world of picnics, masked balls, and cozy carriage rides.
Alcott scholar Professor Daniel Shealy provides an introduction which looks at the historical and biographical context of this gem. Set during Gilded Age America, this 9,000 word story provides romance, the idyllic world of a time gone by, and characters who served as the inspiration for her future masterpieces.
Among our other short stories in this issue, David Marcum challenges Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to enter the world of international intrigue with “The Home Office Baby.” Against the backdrop of a diner, John Floyd serves us a heaping spoonful of menacing mobsters on the loose in “Biloxi Bound.” And last but not least, the inimitable Eoin Colfer with “Kevin of the Dead” invites us to meet a vampire who drives a stake into our stereotypes of the undead.
It’s our great pleasure to also share in this issue an exclusive interview with Alan Furst. Long established as one of the greatest espionage authors of the last 25 years, Furst shared his knowledge of the craft of writing, his experiences as a journalist, and the research behind his atmospheric historical spy novels.
The first American release of John Steinbeck’s “The Amiable Fleas”, written during one of Steinbeck’s long stays in Paris. This humorous piece tells the story of a hapless chef and his quest for a second Michelin star, and has everything we have come to expect from Steinbeck’s trademark prose. We’re also headlining fiction by Joyce Carol Oates, Robin Yocum, and David Marcum, as well as an exclusive interview with bestselling author and investigative journalist Hank Phillippi Ryan.
From the humorous we shift to the sinister with “Final Interview” by the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates. It is a treat to publish such a prolific and influential writer, and Oates does not disappoint—offering a story about a burnt-out writer, a pathological youth, and a condescending journalist, all seemingly headed on a collision course. Also in this issue, Robin Yocum warns us not to underestimate an over-the-hill mobster with “The Last Hit,” and David Marcum, takes Holmes and Watson back to Dartmoor—of The Hound of the Baskervilles fame—to investigate a cold case in “The Dowser’s Discovery.”
For our spotlight interview we caught up with bestselling author and investigative journalist Hank Phillippi Ryan, who not only has earned critical and popular acclaim for her mystery novels, but has a reputation as one of the kindest and most gregarious mystery authors. Ryan shared experiences as an investigative journalist and offered a dose of pep for all those authors sitting on their manuscripts or trying to chase a trend.
We also have the latest book, audiobook, and DVD reviews.
The Strand Magazine continues to bring our readers the best in fiction, interviews with authors, as well as insightful book and audiobook reviews. In addition to the new Steinbeck short story, we’ve featured unpublished works other legendary authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Tennessee Williams, and Joseph Heller.
For more back issues with works by literary legends, follow this link!
Note: The Strand has published this work with the kind permission of the John Steinbeck Estate. This story is being published in English for the first time, and was originally published in Le Figaro in French in 1954. The Steinbeck estate was able to confirm this fact and we’re grateful for their help and cooperation in permitting this work to be shared with a wider audience.
In our 59th issue, we’re proud to present an exclusive interview with John Grisham, where he reflects on his path from lawyer to author, work with the Innocence Project, and of course some advice about writing itself.
James Lee Burke brings his inimitable style to bear on “Deportees”—a timely piece of short fiction featuring recurring character Sheriff Hackberry Holland—which we are proud to present in this issue.
The talented Laura Benedict brings us “Carnival,” a sinister, psychological tale that’ll make you think twice about the dangers of sleep deprivation. Mark Edwards pays homage to W.W. Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw” with “Wish You Dead,” in which a jealous boyfriend goes to unspeakable lengths to get back the woman he loves. And David Marcum has Holmes and Watson investigating the mysterious machinations of twin brothers in “The Case of the Curious Cardboard Boxes.” As always, our stories are highlighted by the wonderful illustrations by the enormously talented Jeffrey B. McKeever.
We also have reviews of the latest books and audiobooks, as well as our young adult reading guide, to help you get an early start on your holiday shopping, We also have the latest book, audiobook, and DVD reviews.