Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Note from the Nonfiction Editors


In The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes writes, “I know this much: that there is objective time, but also subjective time, the kind you wear on the inside of your wrist, next to where the pulse lies. And this personal time, which is the true time, is measured in your relationship to memory.” As we considered the common threads among the pieces for this issue, we observed this tension between subjective and objective time emerging in each text. Whether the time in question is juxtaposition of present and past, a youthful measuring of the present, or a constant questioning that time cannot help answer, the contributing authors all present calibrations of time, objective or true, in the writing we present here.

In “Dog,” Marissa Schwalm shares a six-year struggle with her love for an unpredictably violent canine. In our interviews, Peter Hessler and Adam Hochschild ruminate over time in their lives as writers. Finally, we have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt from Thomas Page McBee’s Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man, a memoir that moves among childhood, adolescence, and the present.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.