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Flashbacks: In Fiction and To ’15

Friday from the Archives: Michael Parker’s “A Mighty Pretty Blue”, in the NCLR 2015 online issue.

Continuing with our student interns’ selections, this week we have Keegan Holder’s pick.

For this week’s Friday from the archives, we look back at Michael Parker’s “A Mighty Pretty Blue,” published in our 2015 online issue. The short story is an excerpt from Parker’s All I Have in This World, published in 2014. The short story focuses on themes like loss and family. Accompanying this short story, is a mixed-media collage created by Jo Ann Hart, an artist. We are so grateful for artists like Hart who let us feature their work in our issues.

Parker is a familiar name in NCLR, having published several pieces, reviews, and an interview with him over the years. The excerpt from his 2014 novel accompanies a review of said novel, penned by Jim Coby. He writes, “In this new novel especially, references to popular culture and esoteric subjects mingle, which gives the feeling of not so much reading a novel as speaking with an old friend on a long ride, a friend who is equally well-versed in disco and botany.”

While the novel’s main characters are ostensibly Marcus and Maria, Coby points out the third character is the “pretty blue” Buick Electra, which is written about flashback-style. The excerpt is a beautiful melancholic look at one of the Electra’s prior owners.

Read the story and the review (and the rest of the 2015 online issue!), ask for Parker’s books at your local independent bookstore or library, and don’t forget to subscribe to NCLR: we have a new essay by Michael Parker forthcoming in the 2023 print issue!