We're thrilled to share with you Aimee Bender's "The Red Ribbon," which originally appeared in Electric Literature no. 3. It's a story about secrets and identity, about how much of ourselves we are willing to expose, about the consequences of taking control of our desires. "The Red Ribbon" asks what happens when a couple surrenders to fantasy and must struggle to find their way back. Perhaps most compelling is how far the story pushes their relationship, so close to revulsion and yet always within reach of tenderness.
When Electric Literature published "The Red Ribbon," we were running a multi-platform literary quarterly. Electric Literature was the first fiction magazine with an iPhone app, the first to tweet an entire story written for Twitter, and one of the first to embrace digital publishing as a tool in service of literary fiction. We released our first issue in 2009, and recently retired the quarterly journal to focus on new projects better suited to the current environment.
Our new magazine, Recommended Reading, is a free digital publication featuring one story a week online and in eBook formats. As the first serious literary journal to publish directly to Tumblr, Recommended Reading picks up where the quarterly left off; advancing the guard of digital publishing to meet readers where they are already, and where they'll be tomorrow. Recommended Reading is a new kind of magazine, curated by top writers and editors. There you'll find stories recommended and introduced by Aimee Bender as well as other incredible writers, giving you insight into the fiction that inspires these visionaries.
Halimah Marcus and Benjamin Samuel
Co-Editors, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading
To read "The Red Ribbon" by Aimee Bender, download our new weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store. This story appears in the Literary Issue, available Friday, Sept. 21.