Dear valued readers,
In his novel, Love in a Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote, “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers gave birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
In this time of a coronavirus we find ourselves obliged to find ourselves anew, and one path is through the art of storytelling. We begin with pieces set in other countries. Jesus Sierra’s story, somewhat reminiscent of Marquez’s tale of love lost, tells of a lost lover as well as the loss of a Cuba that once was. In Tej Rae’s piece a busload of schoolchildren is ambushed in Senegal and obliged to find themselves through a crisis. Anjali Mitter Duva’s novel excerpt depicts the cultural powers engulfing a woman trapped in a brothel in India, who yearns to escape, but perhaps will not.
And moving to the States, Michael Holtzman’s lyrical prose reveals a poverty-stricken Mother’s struggle to find a new life for herself and her child, only to be engulfed by a flood. Ellen Meeropol’s prescient story is of a national power outage that seems out of control but is transcended by love.
In the midst of this crisis, humor can be restorative, as in April Bo Wang’s ironic tale of how the entrapment of racoons leads to the possible rebirth of their captor. Or the humor in Alan Davis’s premise piece deconstructs a narcissistic athlete as well as his fans.
And finally, there’s another kind of rebirth in JD Scrimgeour’s tale of a transgendered little league baseball player.
Even now, in these deeply troubled times, we have the option to recreate ourselves, to transcend forces beyond our control, in part through the regenerative force of fiction.