The Factory, Rebecca Lehmann • Rebecca Lehmann’s “The Factory, An Elegy in 6 Parts” is the story of class struggle as myth, as fairy tale; I’d never read anything like it before and knew we had to publish it.
Contrary Turns Ten
When we founded Contrary in 2003, many people still looked down on digital publications. We wanted to be where the readers were—and they were clearly online—and we had to reach them with almost no money, which we could only do online. So we jumped right in, contrarily. We encoded our hopes in the double negative beneath our masthead—the journal of unpopular discontent—hoping to become a journal of popular content. We knew we had arrived by 2010, a year in which, among other events, we published Sherman Alexie’s popular “Ode to My Sharona,” a year in which we counted more than 3 million hits to these pages—a number no print literary journal can match—on an annual budget of about $1,200. In the last decade, digital publishing has become publishing. And that revolution has brought to our threshold authors of immense talent, works of timeless brilliance. Below you’ll find a sampling of our favorite pieces from our first decade. We collected them in a blush of subjective joy, knowing we’ve left out many deserving others. We invite you to recommend your own favorites on Contrary Blog. As we step into the next decade of promise and wonder, we hope that we may continue to read one another, and we thank you for being Contrary.