In this issue, we present interviews and book reviews. Our two interviews—with Co-Editor-in-Chief Brenda Sparks Prescott about her debut novel, Home Front Lines, and with Dariel Suarez about his novel, The Playwright’s House—portray race, class and BIPOC immigrant culture, integrate politics with fiction. In a previous interview, Dariel Suarez identified the separation of politics from fiction, particularly in white American fiction. He states in his interview, “I knew going in that I wanted to write a political novel. I wanted to capture aspects of Cuban life that outsiders don’t really get to see: the tension between arts and the state, political prisoners, social media activism, etc.” Brenda Prescott explains in her interview, “It was clear from the start that I wanted this book to be about the agency and ingenuity of ordinary women of color. We are starting to see more narratives entering the literature about powerful black women, but too often they are tales of exceptionalism, which can allow the continuance of unintended bias against seeing women and POC as necessary agents in socio-political situations. Books like mine help to correct the national literature bias and reinforce our place in the American narrative by using the power of fiction to invoke empathy and to delve into the interior lives of others through engaging readers in a compelling story.” We hope the conversation between these two interviews encourages our readers to examine the connection between fiction and politics, and to inspire other authors.
Much thanks to Lo Galluccio, Brenda Sparks Prescott, Dariel Suarez, Denise Bergman, and Meg Kearney and others included here for sharing their work, their artistic visions, and their passions with us. And also, many thanks to Richard Cambridge and to Lee Hope for serving as moderators.
Enjoy reading these interviews and be sure to check out all of the links included in the issue for more information about where to purchase these artists’ incredible work.
Acting Editor of Reviews & Interviews