Iron Horse Literary Review's newest issue is a special issue in honor of Nathaniel Hawthorne. "'Why Nathaniel Hawthorne?' you will ask," writes Editor Leslie Jill Patterson. "For starters, he's been good to me. My first college composition was a character analysis of Robin in Hawthorne's story "My Kinsman, Major Molineux,' and the paper earned me the only A in the class... And getting intimate with Hawthorne's stories, spending hours and hours with them, taught me something about language. Like all my faovrite classic writers, Hawthorne is an artist who manipulates the mechanical—dense language; winding sentences; dependent clauses; the letters themselves, with hooked tails and antennae—until his paragraphs transform into something surprising: a story that takes flight and fills us with wonder. And because he can do this...I ask, 'Why, not Hawthorne?'"
In this issue, Gina Ochsner, Toni Jensen, and Edith Pearlman take Hawthorne's tales and put on their own spin. "I was pleased and surprised to see these writers: a) manipulate geography, moving 'The Minister's Black Veil' to the harsh High North; b) tease out racial as well as gender issues in 'The Gentle Boy'; and c) even deal with environmental issues in 'Young Goodman Brown,'" writes Patterson.
Alongside these pieces are the three regular columns: "In the Saddle" (this time featuring the Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts where Hawthorne lived with his new bride), "Bits & Pieces" (facts about Hawthorne), and "From the Horse's Mouth" ("an interview with Nate Hawthorne").