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Newly Released: Books by Clare Beams, Hans Herbert Grimm, April Ayers Lawson and Kelly Luce

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We Show What We Have Learned

And Other Stories

By Clare Beams
174 pages. Lookout. $17.95.

Several of the stories in Clare Beams’s debut collection are infused with a subtle form of magical realism, in which bent rules are hinted at more than fully established. In “Granna,” a woman suspects her grandmother is counteracting the effects of old age with middle-of-the-night visits to a mysterious lake. In the aftermath of a school shooting, in “All the Keys to All the Doors,” a woman discovers she can cause objects (and possibly people) to disappear by locking them into a certain room. And in the title story (where the magic is far less subtle), a teacher starts painlessly shedding body parts in front of her horrified elementary school students, in response to the “hammering blows of the humiliation” they deliver to her.

Better still are…

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