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Alicia Erian

Alicia Erian’s first collection of short stories, The Brutal Language of Love, is currently out in paperback (Random House). A second collection, The Finer Points of Men, and a novel, Welcome to the Moral Universe, are forthcoming from Simon & Schuster. Her fiction has appeared most recently in Playboy, Zoetrope, and the Iowa Review. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

— From July 2002
Fiction

American Standard

They pulled off the highway and followed the signs for the Thirteen Stars Motel. Besides proclaiming itself to be “American Owned,” the motel promised that its restaurant served “American Food” and that each room was held to “American Standards.” Alastair was thrilled. He’d never met a racist before, and now he was going to. Already he felt a mixture of fascination and compassion, as if he and his father were about to visit the zoo.

July 2002
Fiction

Bikini

In 1960 I was one of the few people I knew who owned a bikini. They had been around for a while but were still considered fairly risqué. Mine was pink, was made of cotton, and tied around the neck.

December 1998
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