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Deborah Eisenberg

Deborah Eisenberg’s books include The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg (Picador, 2010), for which she won the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Her many other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Rea Award for the Short Story, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and four O. Henry Awards. She teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University.


Illustration by Nicole Rifkin


Fall 2018 | Fiction

Thundering down, a cataract from a high plateau, raising billows of dust, manes, tails, whinnies rippling like banners, a glamorous species, captive yes, but not entirely subdued, they—oh, no, a fellow in that ridiculous getup pops up from behind a rock and pulls out a—bink! That’s enough, goodbye stupid old show, time for a cup of tea. Pulls out—bang, bang, bang. Yes, sensible Cordis decides, not a drink, time for a nice cup of tea.

The dog, a parting so-called gift from unfortunate Mrs. Munderson, peers at the blank screen, baffled, then paws at Cordis. Moppet is not glamorous, except in the most trivial sense; Moppet is cute. What does Moppet want? A treat? A tickle? A furlough?

The Flaw in the Design

Winter 2006 | Fiction

The voice is exceptional, rich and graceful. I turn my head to look at him. Intent, reflective, he traces my brows with his finger, and then my mouth, as if I were a photograph he’s come across, mysteriously labeled in his own handwriting.