Category Archives: Nonfiction

The Lion in the Gardens of the Guenet Hotel

by John Coyne

In the final days of our in-country Peace Corps training in Ethiopia, we had a
celebration dinner at the Guenet Hotel in the Populari section of the capital, Addis Ababa.

The Guenet Hotel, even in 1962, was one of the older hotels in Addis Ababa. It wasn’t in the center of town, but south of Smuts Street and down the hill from Mexico Square, several miles from where we were housed in the dormitories of Haile Selassie I University. While out of the way, this small, two-story rambling hotel, nevertheless, had a two-lane, American-style bowling alley; tennis courts; and most surprising of all, an African lion in its lush, tropical gardens.

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My Life in Turtles

by Allen Long

When I was a boy in Arlington, Virginia, in the Sixties, I owned a box turtle that came when I called him. His name was Grover, and he lived underneath the evergreen trees in our backyard. I stood in the middle of the lawn, holding his meal of raw hamburger and iceberg lettuce and shouted, “Grover.” Within seconds, he sprinted at turtle-speed to where I stood, and he let me crouch down and talk to him while he ate his meal. I was gentle with him, he allowed me to hold him without protest, and he never retreated into his shell on my account. Continue reading


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We Named Her Amelia

by Susan Thornton

We named her Amelia. I spent an hour in the Christian gift shop on Main street looking stupidly at audio tapes of gospel songs, video tapes of the Living Bible, refrigerator magnets with cheerful Christian sayings, before choosing a cross to put in the box with her ashes. Then I drove to the mall, where I found a kiosk called “Things Remembered.” I chose a gold plated brass name plate and waited while the young woman engraved it with her name. Gerry warned me that the ashes made a very small packet. She only weighed a little over a pound. We put the ashes in the box, with the cross, and Gerry sealed and varnished the box, and glued on the name plate. Continue reading

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The Friendly Korean

by Kelley Jhung

Spring, 1995

The smells of garlic and sesame oil fill the living room as my sister, dad, and I scrape our chopsticks over Styrofoam containers. We’re eating Korean take-out as we watch The University of Kentucky play Tulane in the second round of March Madness. Continue reading


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City of Bridges

By Lori D’Angelo

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my hometown, the town I was born in, the town I lived in until I was 18 years old and then again for a while later, is the City of Bridges.

Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, more than Venice, Italy, which formerly held the record for the most bridges. Bob Regan, then a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh, figured this out by counting them and writing a book about Pittsburgh’s bridges. Continue reading

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