Yesterday on Peach we published “The Entire State of New Jersey,” a short story by the Philadelphia-based writer Kate Catinella. The story begins with the narrator receiving a text that says, “Do u want to get drinks?” from the state of New Jersey, and goes on to describe their date and subsequent trip to the home of the Jersey Devil. Cantinella uses eerie and magical language when describing the way her date made her feel: “Its fingernails tapping on my scalp gave me the chills, and I felt myself growing attached and afraid of the attachment all at once.” After a night with New Jersey and the Jersey Devil, our narrator admits to the entire state that she had a nice time. “I wasn’t sure if I should run off the boardwalk and try to scoop them up from the sand,” she writes, “or if I should let the wind take them out and sink them into the ocean.”
Semiotext(e) / Native Agents / 2016 / 176 pages / novel
Natasha Stagg’s debut novel, Surveys, initially reads like strange look into world market research through the eyes of an uninterested and unbothered 23-year-old, but it quickly becomes much more than that. Colleen doesn’t care about her job, doesn’t care about being stalked by her 70-something-year-old neighbor, and doesn’t really care about the people in her life.“I only wanted someone to worship me,” Colleensays. Each chapter of Surveys is the name of a person or place—Dad, Jewelia, Frank, Denver, etc.—and although each chapter is technically about that person or place, Colleen doesn’t get beyond surface level with any of their stories. Stagg has this incredible way of writing a completely detached yet likeable character. To couple Colleen’s detachment, she becomes consumed by internet fame after getting “discovered by” Jim, an internet personality she then begins dating, and slowly devolves into an obsessive and jealous person.
“Peach Picks” is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo, New York. For inquiries, contact Rachelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.