Issue 1, Spring 1992

Issue 1, Spring 1992

Our very first issue.

“The Oxford American is a literary magazine, of general interest, established under the idea that it is time for a good general magazine to originate from the South. . . . We will not publish pieces about family reunions, or recipes, or beauty contests, or picturesque porches, or local anchormen, or picnkicking, or interior decorating, or lovely gardens, or Southern soap opera stars. We abandon these concerns to our narcissistic and stagnant competition. Instead, the Oxford American  expects to be distinguished and popular for its adherence to what is outstanding in contemporary American culture—not for publishing articles about, or for, its richest subscribers.”

— From the “Declaration of Intent”


The Spy of Loog Root
by Barry Hannah
A voyeuristic outcast becomes the focus of another.

Beckett Scholars Fall In Love At Ohio Conference 
by Jane Mullen
It is never simple to fall in love.


Pauline Kael: The Critic Wore Cowboy Boots
Retired or not, one movie reviewer still has more to say.


Dangerous Inventions
by Lewis Nordan
Lying as a Way of Life.

The Faulkner Thing
by John Grisham
Did Mr. Bill smoke stogies?

Fire Notes
by Larry Brown
Blood & Fire in a small Mississippi town.

Tumbleweed Dreams
by Dave Southern
Our West is a Southerner Southern

First View of the Big City
by Louis D. Rubin, Jr.
Atlanta as seen through the eyes of a babe.



The Optimism
by William F. Buckley, Jr. 
Why Americans, despite it all, won’t give up.

Learning to Love Misanthropy 
by Florence King 
The joys of mankindhating are revealed in the excerpt.

Why Joe Slussarski Throws Like A Girl 
by Bill James
You would too if your ERA was 5.27.

The Sick Heart of Sigma Chi
by Richard Ford
Fraternity Lesions—uh—lessons.


Worlds In View
by Bill McKibben

A Marriage of Speaking and Hearing
by Donald Kartiganer


Madame of Oxford 
Roy Blount, Jr.

An Epiphanhy 
X.J. Kennedy

The Censor 
Fred Chappell

Domestic Incident
X. J. Kennedy

The Beautiful Bowel Movement
John Updike

A Pianist Plummets
Jeanne Steig

Ode on the Commode 
Jack Butler

a model 
Charles Bukowski

Fred Chappell

The Wedding 
J.E. Pitts

Jeanne Steig

the snake
Charles Bukowski