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Bret Anthony Johnston

Bret Anthony Johnston is the author of the internationally best-selling novel Remember Me Like This (Random House, 2014), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is also the author of the short-story collection Corpus Christi (Random House, 2004) and the editor of Naming the World and Other Exercises for the Creative Writer. He is the Director of the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas.


Photo by BIll Driver

Dropping In

Summer 2017 | Essays

From the early ’60s to the late ’70s, the Desert Gardens Ranch nudist colony was secreted away in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains. This is Desert Hot Springs, California, two-ish hours east of Los Angeles. The story goes that the grounds were built as a hush-hush haven for Al Capone, and, after things went south for him, a pair of entrepreneurial nudists bought the place and set up shop. In its prime, Desert Gardens Ranch offered a lifestyle of seclusion and liberation, of year-round sun and bathhouses, an in-ground swimming pool and a water well for landscaping and, not ironically, laundry facilities.

Illustration by Corey Brickley


Summer 2016 | Fiction

A star-smeared night, the usual briny and humid haze of the brush country in August, and Dixon was hauling twenty cases of stolen toys up from the Rio Grande valley. If the border patrol at the Sarita checkpoint asked, he’d claim a delivery mix-up.

iStockPhoto / eei_tony

To a Good Home

Fall 2013 | Fiction

Read the co-winner of our 2013 Emily Clark Balch Prize for fiction, as well as a finalist for the Kay Cattarulla Award for Short Story.