Solo

In 2012, we established Ploughshares Solos, a digital-first series for longer stories and essays, edited by Ploughshares Editor-in-Chief Ladette Randolph. Solos were compiled in the Solos Omnibus until 2017, after which they were published in our yearly fall longform issue.

After a decade of publication, we ceased publishing new solos in a digital standalone format. You can still enjoy new longform prose in our fall issue. To read Solos-past, subscribe to the Ploughshares archive, starting at $20. Solos are also still available where e-books are sold for download on your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or Kobo.

A Sound of Thunder

A Sound of Thunder

The sign on the wall seemed to quaver under a film of sliding warm water. Eckels felt his eyelids blink over his stare, and the sign burned in this momentary darkness:   TIME SAFARI, INC. SAFARIS TO ANY YEAR IN THE PAST. YOU NAME THE ANIMAL. WE TAKE YOU THERE. YOU SHOOT IT.   A…

You Just Make Me So Happy

You Just Make Me So Happy

She loved him best in the wintertime, on those mornings when it was so cold that crystalline spores of frost could be seen in their glinting conquest over every smooth surface. Winter was the only time of year when the world might properly stop, and morning in its stillness could morph into an equally silent…

The Rat King Scattered

The Rat King Scattered

“Every animal has just enough brain to preserve its own hide.”   In the backyard of our first house, the roots of the sod we laid wouldn’t take. The front, when we moved in that spring, was fine if a little weedy, but the back was thatched up with the dead: long overgrown and run…

Oceans

Oceans

Theirs was a landlocked tribe, generations deep: ghettoed in the old country, urban in the new one, smart, klutzy red-haired Jews of the Ashkenazi type, and not a fisherman in the lot, until we get to Lily’s father. Chicago-born-and-raised, he begged a pal to take him to a lake, and next thing you know, there…

Emmanuel

Emmanuel

It is never completely quiet in Gilot. The UN tents crowding the hillsides up here are thin as air and swelter in the night heat, dense with the smell of urine and bodies. Before sunrise, you can hear babies crying down in the ravine (especially Lovely’s baby, who is sickly) and tin pots rattling around,…

Ruin Value

Ruin Value

In spite of what the radio told us, we knew Berlin was likely lost by the time the cherry blossoms opened. That was when the dead women began appearing beside the Landwehrkanal. Once a week we found them sprawled as though sunbathing next to that bottle-green water. But while I’ve seen many reactions—quick grimaces, the…

The Darling

The Darling

Margaretta was sitting on the topmost step of her front porch, in a faded pastel-colored sundress, barefoot, elbows on her knees, chin in her hands—lost in thought, I surmised—when I first went to see her. Her husband was in the front yard, his hands on his hips, surveying the sky, where dark rain clouds were…