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Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of the New York Times bestseller Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America (Algonquin, 2004), as well as two collection of stories, My Life in Heavy Metal (Grove, 2002) and The Evil B.B. Chow and Other Stories, (Algonquin, 2005). His website is at



Winter 2006 | Fiction

Feather came up to me just as the early dinner rush was ending. “Listen up,” he said. “I’ve got a huge party upstairs at 8:15, so I need you to look after a few things.” “What things?” I said. “Mostly thirteen. I’m thinking thirte [...]

I Learned It All the Hard Way

Fall 2005 | Essays

I first heard Howard Tate back in 1995. These were the happy Clinton years. The mean kids hadn’t taken over the playground yet. We were all a little dizzy on peace. I was living in the suburbs of the South, Greensboro to be precise, where I had come to receive indoctrination into the good miseries of literature.


Heavy Metal Music Will Save Your Life

Summer 2005 | Essays

I spent three years as a rock music critic in El Paso, Texas, which was where I lived at the tail end of the eighties and where I came of age, in a sense—grew old enough, that is, to recognize that heavy metal was, essentially, tribal in nature and that it had everything to do with rhythm and aggression and desire and conquest and physical release and death, which is to say, with sex.

Pretty Authors Make Graves

Winter 2005 | Essays

I can tell you that I only trust the ugly writers. Deep down, those are the ones who have earned their wrath. All the rest of them, the pretty boy and girl authors, screw them. Or, better yet, don't screw them. Get them all hot and bothered. Tell them you're hungry, the buffet table is looking pretty inviting, and leave them there, lathered up, grinning, in a hot cloud of their own fabulous bone structure. 

The Problem of Human Consumption

Summer 2004 | Fiction

Paul, in this case, is a widower. His wife died thirteen years ago. He kept their daughter away as much as he could. There were relatives around to play with her, to shower her with gifts and praise. His wife grew pale in the study. Her hair fell out. The disease ate her body in delicate bites. How do you explain such things to a four-year-old?

Have A Coke and A Bullet

Winter 2004 | Fiction

At Happy Temp they'd put us—Sligo and myself—through a battery of psychological tests. I would describe myself as a: Leader, Follower, Peacemaker, Instigator. The best way to settle a dispute is: Compromise, Vote, Debate, Lead pipe. I think about [...]