May/June 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 3 |

Blue Hills

Read Editor David H. Lynn’s essay “Why We Chose It” here. Roy Montgomery liked to introduce himself as RM—Rare Man, he would boast to his friends when he was younger. He always considered himself lucky, not because of the way girls used to flock around him at parties, but for drawing number 365 in the Vietnam draft lottery and not having to run away to Canada or, worse, coming back home in a body bag. This fortunate turn of events made him confident he could jump over any of life’s pitfalls. By the time he’d graduated from college, the war was over, Nixon had resigned, and the young men and women of his generation were happily riding the last wave of the counterculture. The sense he’d had of coasting through life made RM nostalgic and often led him to seek out old friends with whom he could “exchange stories,” as he would put it. Now clean-shaven, his hair no longer long and blond but short and brownish-gray, he had packed up his old red Toyota, put his guitar on

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Ali Hosseini’s novels, The Place of Stones (2017) and The Lemon Grove (2012), were published by Northwestern University Press. His short stories have appeared in Story Quarterly, Coffin Factory, Epoch, Guernica, Fiction International, American Letters & Commentary, and other places. He came to the US from Iran to go to college and learned about the United States by working a variety of jobs—farm laborer, construction worker, and security guard—before finishing his degree in information technology but has always retained his love of literature and interest in writing.

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