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Mean Girls and Bad Boys

May 2010

This month we’re braving the teen terrain. Adolescents may have no monopoly on bad behavior, but they have the market cornered on inventive ways of displaying it. Here teens scheme, double-cross, and otherwise terrorize their peers; “mean” is truly average, and every story includes a plot. Religious ceremonies lead to ritual humiliation, family vacations turn into holidays in hell, and even adults act out. Stand back as Naja Aidt, Andrés Barba, Leonardo Pica Ciamarra, Lars Saabye Christensen, Angela Dutra de Menezes,  Eve Gil, and Etienne van Heerden depict a world of bad behavior.

Damned Spring
By Eve Gil
Before Vanessa, I had other girlfriends, but none of them was memorable or worthy of appearing in my scrapbook.
Translated from Spanish by Toshiya Kamei
From “Such Small Hands”
By Andrés Barba
It all started at the zoo: the smell of the zoo, the nervous excitability as we stepped off the minibus.
Translated from Spanish by Lisa M. Dillman
The May Crowning
By Angela Dutra de Menezes
For five years, Berenice waited for a chance to dematerialize her cousin
Translated from Portuguese by Alison Entrekin
Gob
By Lars Saabye Christensen
I saw her again today. She came out from the liquor store in Majorstua, the bottles pushed down into a worn brown bag
Translated from Norwegian by Kenneth Steven
From “Thirty Nights in Amsterdam”
By Etienne van Heerden
“A bicycle, a bike,” I nag at MaOlivier, and she has to phone around, first my old Snoozebrother on the farm, then the husband of my old Pretoria sister.
Translated from Afrikaans by Michiel Heyns
From “As Far As We Can See”
By Leonardo Pica Ciamarra
In other words, the young man concluded, even an intelligent person can happen to say something stupid now and then!
Translated from Italian by Stephen Twilley
A Car Trip
By Naja Marie Aidt
After Nikolaj slams the car door shut they realize that Tobias isn’t in the car.
Translated from Danish by Mark Kline