After taking a step back and looking at the stories we’ve selected for this issue, we found something mildly amusing: none of them are set anywhere near us; they are spread about the world and speak of individual cultures and varieties we sometimes may have only wondered about. One thing, though, rings true, regardless of their locale—the human element is universal, the people you and I know, those living in the same town as us, and perhaps even we ourselves, might very well be associated to the characters in these stories.

In “Anywhere,” by Michael F. Smith, there is something wrong in a Paris museum, but not only the French will identify with the fight and the struggle and the yearning for resolution. Chris Ludlow’s artwork, “Clock Detail, Musee d'Orsay,” compliments the piece with its haunting foreground of time ticking on, black and foreboding, providing glimpses of the great, but unknown, beyond.

In Mark Vendor’s “El Paraiso,” a washing machine is due to be delivered to a deserving family in Columbia. The story explores many elements: charity, trust, responsibility, the needs of the needy, and the perspectives of what paradise really is. “In paradise, locals smile and wave and bougainvilleas spill off colonial balconies simply because it is in their nature. The web of life is perfect whether you are there or not. And you lose yourself in it—vanish from the map.”

Another form of paradise might be synthetic in nature, and Karen Kasaba’s essay, “Kon Tiki,” takes us to the man-made tropical grottos, Naugahyde booths, and illuminated waterfalls of a Hawaiian hotel. There’s a unique perspective of things Polynesian here, and it may make you wonder how much of the real is real, and how much of the fake is fake.

And finally, Court Merrigan's story, "About Ai," touches on a Japanese family, a daughter who goes out too much, a father and a mother busy making ends meet, and a certain trouble that arises in the midst of it all. Ai's story is a sad one and reaches far beyond the Far East.

Once again, we would like to thank our contributors and all those who submitted fine work for consideration in this Summer issue of The Summerset Review.

Joseph Levens – Editor
Amy Leigh Owen – Assistant Editor
S. Malkah Cohen – Assistant Editor
The Summerset Review,  a literary journal of contemporary short stories and essays, is released quarterly on Mar 15, June 15, Sept 15, and Dec 15.

Founded in 2002 and based in New York, the journal is a not-for-profit, zero-revenue Internet publication devoted to high-quality literary reading, writing, and publishing. We are a member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP).

The journal is located at http://www.summersetreview.org. All correspondence and submissions should be emailed to editor@summersetreview.org. Postal mailing address, should you choose to correspond via hard-copy, is: 25 Summerset Dr., Smithtown, NY 11787. Guidelines and recommended reading are on the web site. All material is copyrighted and republication or redistribution should not be done without written permission granted by the originator.

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