Best Fiction: “She Named Him Michael” by Heather Rounds (Ink Press Productions)

A stark, poetic novella whose root is a real thing (a chicken named Mike that lived for 18 months with his head cut off and became a sideshow act until he died), “She Named Him Michael” author Heather Rounds kneads and pushes that story until it turns into a different kind of legend, an unexpected meditation on gender roles, contextual small-mindedness, man’s thirst for power over nature, and after all that the inevitable reward of death.

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