Cover art by Richard Serra: Pickman’s Progress, 1998. Collections: François Pinault, Paris, France
Crossing Over

Fall 1999

Edited by Bradford Morrow.

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Our millennial issue celebrates the word in the world as we cross over into another century.

Carole Maso, The Intercession of Saints
The acclaimed author of Defiance and Ava offers a new short story, a meditation on the lives of saints old and new.

Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Ten Thousand in the Round
A first look at the young Hawaiian author’s newest novel, which touches upon some of the same themes as her controversial Blu’s Hanging (an excerpt of which first appeared in Conjunctions:26, Sticks & Stones).

Carol Azadeh, The Country Road
This brilliant young Irish writer makes her American debut in Crossing Over with a remarkable story set in rural mid-century Ireland.

Peter Sacks, Five Poems
South African poet Sacks, now living in America, contributes a selection from his recently-completed manuscript, O Wheel.

Eduardo Galeano, The Impunity of the Sacred Car
Uruguay’s most distinguished contemporary voice is represented, aptly, in our millennial issue with a trenchant polemic about the role of the automobile in our future. Published with engravings by José Guadalupe Posada, translated from the Spanish by Mark Fried.

Reginald Shepherd, Five Poems
New works by this important young poet.

Peter Dale Scott, From Minding the Darkness
An extensive excerpt from what may come to be considered one of the most ambitious political epic poems of our day by the author hailed by the late James Laughlin as “the most important American poet since Pound and Williams.”

Paul West, Roses from the South
One of America’s greatest stylists weighs in with an excerpt from his recently completed short novel.

Arthur Sze, Earthshine
A poem in seven parts&mdash“A steady evening with a first-quarter moon;/ numerous craters along the terminator are razor sharp;/ I see the ghostly bluish glow of earthshine/ and feel how the moon has no permanent dark side.”

Thomas Bernhard, Heldenplatz
Translated by Gita Honegger and appearing here for the first time in English, Heldenplatz famously provoked riots at its premier several years ago in Vienna at the Burgtheater and is easily one of Bernhard’s most important, electrifying works.

Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Eighteen Days
Compiled and with an introduction by Jonathan Safran Foer, these pages from Singer’s daily calendar of 1940 document the author’s learning of English. Reproduced for the first time in Conjunctions.

Richard Powers, From Plowing the Darkness
An Iranian-American, Taimur Martin, has fled the States and an obsessive love affair for a teaching assignment in Lebanon where he is kidnapped, sequestered, and held for a ransom no one is prepared to accept. In this lengthy excerpt from Richard Powers’s highly anticipated new novel, the psychological clashes with the political.

Yoko Tawada, Where Europe Begins
This Japanese writer makes her debut in Conjunctions with a young woman’s dreamlike journey from Japan across the barren waste of Siberia to an imaginary Europe where no water tastes the same. Angela Carter meets Can Xue in this remarkable novella. Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky.

Norman Manea, The New Calendar
Comically harrowing, brutal and fragmented, this Kafkaesque story by the renowned Romanian novelist and essayist charts the emigration of an Eastern innocent into the Western bureaucracy. A classic noir of the exile in a labyrinth.

Thalia Field, Seven Veils
Winner of the John Hawkes Prize, Thalia Field uses language and image in ways that collapse the distinction between narrative prose and the poetic. Seven innerconnected texts from her forthcoming first book, Point and Line.

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Dressing Up Our Pets
“I sew a bright hood for my pet mouse …” With these words Berssenbrugge’s newest poem begins, a meditation on intimacy, identity, and the textures of mortality.

Malinda Markham, Five Poems
New work from a young voice of astonishing lyricism and intelligence. “The house is burning. Memories press / against its upper corners / for pockets of air. See the windows wanting to melt.”

John Ashbery, Three Poems
Three new works from the inimitable Ashbery. “I think in the think tank, always elegant in my thinking, far away.”

Melvin Jules Bukiet, Filophilia
Can a mother ever love a son too much? Bukiet’s idiomatic and disturbing narrative re-examines the Oedipus complex.

Noy Holland, What Begins With Bird
A long story by the author of The Spectacle of the Body, which deftly and poignantly explores the complicated, rarely in balance, relationships between mother and child, sister and sister, father and daughters.

Sandra Newman, Medium
Combining the surreal with disturbingly mundane routines of a love affair gone awry, Sandra Newman proves herself to be a highly original new voice in British letters. “Medium” marks an important first appearance in print by this young author.

Rosmarie Waldrop, Four Cornell Boxes
Four prose poems which both formally mimic and pay homage to the constructions of the great American master, Joseph Cornell.

Joyce Carol Oates, The Sharpshooter
An excerpt from Oates’s forthcoming epic novel, Blonde, based on the life and times of Marilyn Monroe.

Gilbert Sorrentino, From Little Casino
A lengthy excerpt from Sorrentino’s just-finished novel, impossible to describe, yet proof perfect that he remains one of America’s most daring and comic writers.

Mark McMorris, Songs at Climate Level
Four poems that further explore McMorris’s search for what it means to be Caribbean. “The wattage of the ordinary is not far off, the coast of New Guinea, / the mark I left so you could find me again / whoever ‘you’ propose to be tonight, on this / drive from the country to the town of villanelles.”

Michael Counts, Rome Burns
Excerpted from GAle GAtes et al.’s production of The Field of Mars, two simultaneous monologues about Nero’s infamous pyromaniacal activities are reproduced along with production stills from the original performance.

Frank O. Gehry and Richard Serra, Design for a Footbridge
Conjunctions is pleased to publish, for the first time anywhere, drawings, photographs, and the model from a collaborative proposal between architect Frank Gehry and sculptor Richard Serra for a footbridge across the Thames. With an introduction by Anthony McCall.


The author of The Recognitions, JR, Carpenter’s Gothic and A Frolic of His Own was honored at a memorial held in May at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York. In recognition of Gaddis’s preeminent place in twentieth-century American literature, Conjunctions has gathered all the previously unpublished texts of the tributes given at the Academy that day. Among Gaddis’s colleagues and friends who spoke eloquently about his life and work—William H. Gass, Joy Williams, Julian Schnabel, D. A. Pennebaker—was Louis Auchincloss, whose text may be found on the New York Times website under its original title, “Recognizing Gaddis”. Sarah Gaddis, the novelist’s daughter, has written a special introduction to Conjunctions’ tribute.

Sarah Gaddis, A Note of Gratitude

Julian Schnabel, Portrait of William Gaddis

Joy Williams, Mr. Gaddis

William H. Gass, Memories of Master Gaddis

D. A. Pennebaker, Remembering Gaddis