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(A new Steinbeck article, fiction by Gar Anthony Haywood, Melissa Yi, and David Bart and an exclusive interview with Louise Penny)
In our 67th issue, we’re proud to present the first American release of John Steinbeck’s “How About McCarthyism”. Like his works of fiction, which are sure to remain classics for as long as people still read, this article, with its clear-eyed analysis of the relationship between democracies and demagogues, is as relevant today as it was in the McCarthy era. John Steinbeck penned this article when he and his third wife Elaine moved briefly to Paris. The couple fell in love with the City of Lights, and the great American author was so captivated that he chose to pen a weekly column called One American in Paris for a French literary magazine, chronicling his observations as an American. These were to be light-hearted fare—and yet Steinbeck, a keen social critic, was unable to entirely filter out his concerns about life back home and penned this prescient article. He also wrote a whimsical little tale titled “The Amiable Fleas” which the Strand published in English for the first time in 2019.
For our spotlight interview we caught up with bestselling author Louise Penny, who not only has earned critical and popular acclaim for her mystery novels, but has a reputation as being one of the most friendly mystery writers in the business. Penny shared her experiences as an aspiring author while working for CBC Canada, spoke about the real-life character who served as the inspiration for Inspector Armand Gamache and told us how she survived during quarantine.
Between Steinbeck and Penny, and of course our reviews of the latest books on the market, we have an interesting and unusual mix of stories for this issue. Gar Anthony Haywood offers us “All That Glitters,” a tale about family loyalty and money in the gritty streets of Los Angeles; David Bart’s “Somebody Has To Bleed,” reminds us that even pathological hitmen need mental health checks; Melissa Yi’s “Puttin’ Out The Ritz,” is a swanky romp with rich characters, gourmet apps, and stylish murder; and last but not least, Mark Mower’s “The Case of the SS Bokhara,” sets the Great Detective adrift in the South Pacific.
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 Shirley Jackson, Raymond Chandler, H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Tennessee Williams, Louisa May Alcott and Ray Bradbury.
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. Furthermore, this article has been well-known to scholars and the John Steinbeck estate for decades.