Inside Other Worlds: Women Writing of Place, Belonging, and Exile

Sherrie Flick

Quiet Glory, Crouching Shadows, Little Wish: An Interview with Sherrie Flick

Award-winning fiction writer, food writer, freelance writer, and copy editor, Sherrie Flick is the author most recently of the short story collection “Whiskey, Etc.” (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2016). Gardens, women, and music made wild; places and prospects made uncomfortable, but where one wants to linger; pie and tea and bourbon; cruel women who like men, but prefer solitude; dogs and cats and possums; moments, moods, couples, desire, and loneliness—these and more infuse energy and attitude into the 57 stories of “Whiskey, Etc.”


Margo Orlando Littell

The Quiet Power of Small-Town Stories: An Interview with Margo Orlando Littell

Margo Orlando Littell’s debut novel, “Each Vagabond by Name,” is an Appalachian tale of longing and loss, belonging and isolation, desperation and deliverance. Its characters confess the truth of life in the small coalmining town of Shelk, Pennsylvania, their simple, hardworking existence threatened by a band of thieves who have pitched camp in the nearby hills. Zaccariah Ramsy, Vietnam veteran and local bar owner, and Stella Vale, librarian and Ramsy’s once-and-eventual lover, establish the novel’s tone as townspeople who remain outside the spoken and unspoken rules of what it is to belong and not belong.


Anne Raeff

Landscape of Exile, Imagination, & Memory: An Interview with Anne Raeff

Winner of the 2016 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, Anne Raeff’s “The Jungle around Us” is a collection, honest and rare, its quietude and intimacy leading to unspoken, unforgotten places where insects roar, sirens sound, and “scratchy, old 78s” play. It is clear the author cares deeply about the characters in these stories. To read this collection is to be immersed in their lives, to become caught up in their thoughts and actions, their climates and countries, their memories and dreams.

Swing Time

"When the music changes, so does the dance." - Hausa proverb

The epigraph of Zadie Smith's novel SWING TIME could be describing the present American political climate, especially with the book's release date exactly a week past the 2016 Presidential Election. The music has indeed changed, as has the dance. Unstable, swinging, shifting times are these. Losing oneself in the words of a novel, between bouts of activism, is what many of us are trying. Escapism? Perhaps. But it's really more like delving into further understanding of how race and difference, compassion and understanding, anger and uprising, problems and resolutions are defined in literature. 

There are so many books by authors of beautifully distinctive backgrounds that call us to read and further understand our world: Colson Whitehead's THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD; Viet Thanh Nguyen's forthcoming story collection, THE REFUGEES; Celeste Ng's EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU; Michael Chabon's MOONGLOW; Louise Erdrich's LaROSE; Ann Patchett's COMMONWEALTH; Edwidge Danticat's CLAIRE OF THE SEA LIGHT; Alexander Chee's THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT; Helen Oyeyemi's WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS. And on and on. Read, my friends. The time is now, shifting and swinging beneath us. Ground yourselves in meaningful words and then shout to the heavens all that you have learned.