Established and new voices also combine in the next four pieces. Wandeka Gayle’s mystical, lyrical novel excerpt reveals the fears of a young girl in Jamaica as she struggles with the murder of her mother and the magical world of her Aunt Winnie. “You do everything someone tell you, child?” she said, “Besides, you not to cross you legs over a grave. You don’t know that? You want spirit come into this house?” From this haunting experience, we move to a premise piece by Franny Zhang, her debut story, in which a girl encounters an eccentric, former neighbor who has observed a murder in which the girl might or might not have been involved. From this experimental fiction, we transition to a realistic story by Adeola Adeniyi set in Brooklyn told in language reminiscent of The Wire. A troubled narrator sinks into even deeper trouble before he possibly finds some redemption. And we end with realism by Brett Riley in this moving lament of a neglectful father, a former band member and druggie, who must face up to his grown son’s rage as they are trapped and blinded by a haboob, or sandstorm, in Las Vegas.
We are deeply pleased to bring to you these sometimes unsettling, often ironic, and always compassionate stories.