Because it's not all her fault.

Refrigerator Mothers

Vol.54 Issue 01
Cover Artist: Elinor Carucci
Cover of Refrigerator Mothers, Fall 2010 Mothers,
I learned to live with my soul. Now i have to learn to live with my mother!
I’ll never again live in a house that she’s not in. I will attend to her with
more obedience than even a child would
I won’t speak of anything but my mother.
And then she’ll buy my two new pigeons, and I’ll clip their wings so that
They’ll never fly away.
—from The Beastiary by Federigo Tozzi (1888-1920)


Refrigerator Mothers, the outmoded psychological theory from the 1950s that emotionally frigid mothers caused autism, schizophrenia, and related spectrum disorders in children? The answer to that question lies in the extraordinary complexity of mothers, mothering, being mothered, not being mothered—the trails mothers leave on the psyche… read the whole letter



Rebecca Wolff
The Curious Life and Mysterious Death of Peter J. Perry

Charles Wyatt
Variation 11
Variatio 12: Canone alla Quarta
Variation 13
Variatio 18 a 1 Clav.: Canone alla Sesta
Variatio 23 a 2 Clav.

Leslie Ann Miller
From a Balcony Over Rue de la Huchette
Child Asleep in a Bass Case
Relinquishing the Fusional Moment
Boy at the Center, Intervening World

Susan Rothbard
Feeding the Birds
Dear Son

Vida Cross
Out in the Ocean

Lisa Ortiz
The Drawer Marked Meats
Medusa in the Kitchen

Kelli Russell Agodon
She Says What an Amazing Lamp
Large Optimistic Bowl
The Gynecologist Imagines Another Life


James Scudamore

Neil Boyack
Country Junk

Thomas Bonfiglio

Rebecca Chew

Line-Maria Lång
Translated by Thomas E. Kennedy

Matt Bell
Xarles, Xavier, Xenos

Buddhadeva Bose
Makhanlal’s Sad Tale
Translated by Arunava Sinha

Ankur Parikh
Three Stories


Jessie van Eerden
A Good Day


Ceridwen Morris and Jenny Offill
Is There Anything Literary About Motherhood?


Jena Salon
Suffering Love

J.D. Reid
Comedy in a Minor Key and The Death of the Adversary

Anton Leist and Peter Singer, editors
J.M Coetzee and Ethics
By Charles Berret

Elyse Fenton
By Paul-Victor Winters

Ruth Franklin
A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truths in Holocaust Fiction
By Anne Baney

Gustaf Sobin
Collected Poems
By Mark Hillringhouse

Leïla Marouane
The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris
By Deborah Hall

Benjamin Percy
The Wilding
By Jody Handerson

Christian Hawkey
By Cassie Hay



Kelli Russell Agodon is the author of Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, winner of the White Pine Press Poetry Prize. She is also the editor of Crab Creek Review.

Renée Ashley is the poetry editor of The Literary Review and author of Basic Heart.

Anne Baney lives and teaches in Montclair, New Jersey.

Matt Bell is the author of  the story collection How They Were Found. His fiction has been included in in Best American Mystery Stories 2010 and Best American Fantasy 2. He is also the editor of The Collagist.

Charles Berret is the books editor for TriQuarterly Online and was formerly an editor for Egypt Today magazine in Cairo. He lives in Chicago.

Thomas Bonfiglios stories have appeared in Flatmancrooked, Fiction, Northwest Review, The Florida Review, Lake Effect, and Rumble Magazine. He won the Robert C. Martindale Prize in Long Fiction, and has received Special Mention in the Pushcart Prizes: Best of the Small Presses. He teaches writing at Arizona State University.

Buddhadeva Bose was one of the most celebrated Bengali writers of the twentieth century. A central figure in the Bengali modernist movement, he wrote novels, short story collections, plays, essays, translations, and books of verse. He died in 1974.

Neil Boyack’s stories and poems have appeared in many different journals and magazines, and have been translated into Chinese and French. His three collections of stories have been critically acclaimed, and damned. Married in Las Vegas, he lives in the Victorian central goldfields on solar power and water tanks.  He has 2 kids and is the creator and director of the Newstead Short Story Tattoo.

Rebecca Chew is a graphic designer and illustrator. She lives in Malaysia.

Vida Cross’ work has appeared in Reverie Journal, Reed Magazine, Make Magazine, WarpLand, Mochila Review, and the Journal of Film and Video. In 2008, she received an Illinois Arts Council Special Assistance Grant for Bronzeville at Night: 1949. Cross is a recipient of scholarships from Cave Canem, The Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, and Voices of Our Nation writers’ retreat.

Walter Cummins is Editor Emeritus of The Literary Review and publisher of Serving House Books.

Deborah Hall is the author of The Anatomy of Narrative: Analyzing Fiction and Creative Nonfiction. She is prose editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies. She teaches writing and literature at Valdosa State University in Georgia.

Jody Handerson has a widely varied background in the visual and performing arts. She applies her literary talent as a technical writer and editor for an environmental consulting company. She is a TLR contributing editor.

Cassie Hay is an essayist and former editorial assistant for The Literary Review. She resides in Jersey City.

Mark Hillringhouse is the founding editor of the American Book Review and a contributing editor for the New York Arts Journal.

Thomas E. Kennedy’s Copenhagen Quartet is being published by Bloomsbury worldwide: the first novel of the set, In the Company of Angels, was published last spring. Kennedy has translated many Danish writers into English, most recently Dan Turèll and Henrik Nordbrandt. He is a TLR advisory editor.

John King is an adjunct professor of English and writing and rhetoric at the University of Central Florida. His fiction has appeared in Gargoyle, Painted Bride Quarterly Annual, Turnrow, and Pearl.

Born in 1982, Line-Maria Lång is half Swedish, half Danish, and lives in Copenhagen. Her debut collection, Rat King (Rottekong), came out in 2009. Other translations from this work will appear soon in Southern Review and elsewhere.

Leslie Adrienne Miller is the author of six volumes of poetry including Y, forthcoming from Graywolf Press, The Resurrection Trade, and Eat Quite Everything You See.

Ceridwen Morris is a writer, mother, and childbirth educator. She is co-author of It’s All Your Fault and From the Hips as well as screenplays for Miramax and HBO. She lives in New York City with her husband, the novelist Sam Lipsyte, and their two children.

Jenny Offill is the author of the novel Last Things. She teaches in the writing programs at Brooklyn College and Columbia University.

Lisa Ortiz’s poems have appeared in Zyzzyva, Comstock Review, Crab Creek Review, and on Verse Daily. She received Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry prizes in 2006 and 2007.

Ankur Parikh is a multi-borough New Yorker who is grateful to have stumbled upon, and then embraced, the written word as part of his life.

J.D. Reid is co-founder of Wide Array. He can be found physically in Texas and spiritually haunting the halls of Wroxton Abbey.

Susan Rothbard’s poetry has appeared in Comstock Review, Dogwood, the Paterson Literary Review, and Pif Magazine. She earned her MFA degree in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Matt Ryan is the social media editor for The Literary Review.

Jena Salon is the books editor for The Literary Review.

James Scudamore grew up in Japan, Brazil, and the UK. His first novel, The Amnesia Clinic, won the 2007 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Heliopolis was longlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize.

Arunava Sinha is the translator from Bengali of Sankar’s Chowringhee and The Middleman and Moti Nandy’s Striker Stopper. He is currently translating Buddhadeva Bose’s magnum opus, Tithidore.

Karen A. Smyers is a former associate professor at Wesleyan and a Jungian analyst in Hadley, MA.

Jessie van Eerden teaches at the Oregon Extension in Ashland, OR. Her work has appeared in Best American Spiritual Writing, The Oxford American, and other publications.

Paul-Victor Winters is a teacher and writer in southern New Jersey. Poems and essays have recently appeared or are forthcoming in New York Quarterly and Scythe.

Rebecca Wolff is the author of three books of poems, including The King. Her novel, The Beginners, is forthcoming next summer. She is the editor of Fence and Fence Books and lives in Athens, NY.

Charles Wyatt teaches in the low-residency MFA Program of the University of Nebraska. Before this incarnation, he was principal flutist of the Nashville Symphony for twenty-five years.  He has poems in the current edition of Alaska Quarterly Review.