The administrative board had chosen Candler to be the Center's new chief. The official interviews were still weeks away, but the real search had already taken place. It had not been pleasant. The board members had taken a meddlesome, prying, semierotic interest in his private life. They were a gray-faced bunch with concretized features, and their attitudes matched their outward appearancegargoyles in¬tent on finding another of their species. Three of them had come to Candler's house bearing a Boston fern. A housewarming gift, they claimed, meandering through his rooms, fondling his knickknacks, even swinging open the refrigerator door. Except for its size and a few upscale pretensions, the house was a conventional tract home. Candler had gotten a deal on itwhat had seemed like a dealand the board members liked that he had not moved to San Diego to live the bachelor life. They even appreciated the size of his residence, believing the extra rooms were meant for a family. They were perhaps the only people who approved of his car. Debt, noted one gargoyle, is a stabilizing influence.
Robert Boswell. Excerpt from Tumbledown. Copyright © 2013 by Robert Boswell. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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