Redux: Vulnerable to an Epiphany



Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Redux newsletter.

Each year, the Plimpton Prize for Fiction celebrates the work of an exceptional new writer appearing in the Review. In honor of this year’s winner, Chetna Maroo, we’re lifting the paywall on four previous recipients of the award, from the very first—Marcia Guthridge, for her story “Bones,” from issue no. 128 (Fall 1993)—to last year’s, Eloghosa Osunde, for “Good Boy,” from issue no. 234 (Fall 2020).

If you enjoy these free stories, why not subscribe to The Paris Review? You’ll get four new issues of the quarterly delivered straight to your door.

Marcia Guthridge

It is clear now that things were not quite normal with me. I was vulnerable to an epiphany. I needed a place to stand.

From issue no. 128 (Fall 1993)

Yiyun Li

Decades later, movie stars will be the most studied faces among the pregnant mothers. But at this time, the dictator is the only superstar in the media, so the mother has been gazing at the dictator’s face for ten months before the baby’s birth.

From issue no. 167 (Fall 2003)

The Early Deaths of Lubeck, Brennan, Harp, and Carr
Jesse Ball

—I saw a swan maul a child once, said Carr. The child had to be removed. To the hospital, I mean. The swan was beaten to death with a stick.

Jane covered the cygnet’s ears. You’ll have to imagine for yourself what that looked like. I don’t really know where a bird’s ears are.

From issue no. 183 (Winter 2007)

Good Boy
Eloghosa Osunde

I’ve always had a problem with introductions. To me, they don’t matter. It’s either you know me or you don’t—you get? If you don’t, the main thing you need to know is that I am a hustler through and through. I’m that guy that gets shit done.

From issue no. 234 (Fall 2020)

If you enjoyed the above, don’t forget to subscribe! In addition to four print issues per year, you’ll also receive complete digital access to our sixty-nine years’ worth of archives.