Dear readers,

We have been and will always be committed to the work of Black, Indigenous, POC, Women, GNC, LGBTQ+, Disabled, and all marginalized peoples. It is with a heavy heart that we have seen the current administration feign ignorance and responsibility during a global pandemic. It is also that same administration that has been pivotal in normalizing abuses of power, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and ableism.

At this very moment people have taken to the streets all across this nation and made it abundantly clear: WE WILL NOT LET THIS STAND!

But what was the spark that set these protests in motion? Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, George Floyd, and countless others are who people are marching for. They are marching against systemic racism that targeted the Black community for hundreds of years. …


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Ian MacAllen’s “The Lives of Paul” was published in The Offing’s Fiction department on February 3, 2020. Q&A conducted by Julia Chen, Reader, Fiction

Donate to The Offing! Our Patreon supporters received early access to this Q&A with The Offing contributor Ian MacAllen, and receive other perks as well. The Offing pays our contributors, and we appreciate the help of all of our supporters in sustaining our work. If you are able, consider donating to The Offing today, whether one-time or monthly.

Julia Chen: I was immediately struck by the unspecified future/alternate universe you’ve created in “The Lives of Paul”, especially the way you’ve explored a world where people can come back from the dead. How do you approach your world building? Was this a world that came into your mind fully-formed or did you start writing first and reshaped it as the story progressed?


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Naihobe Gonzalez’s “Notes on Blackouts” was published in Enumerate in March 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bix Gabriel, Enumerate Editor, asked her for a list of songs she’d like to listen to during a blackout — which somehow seems apropos of social distancing and quarantines.

Naihobe wrote: I chose a list of songs I’d like to listen to during a blackout. They’re all songs by alternative Venezuelan musicians that I think others might enjoy, even if they don’t speak Spanish. …


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Adams Adeosun’s “A Natural History of Briefly Gorgeous Vegetables” was published in The Offing’s Fiction department on November 4, 2019. Q&A conducted by Kosiso Ugwueze, Reader, Fiction

Donate to The Offing! Our Patreon supporters received early access to this Q&A with The Offing contributor Adams Adeosun, and receive other perks as well. The Offing pays our contributors, and we appreciate the help of all of our supporters in sustaining our work. If you are able, consider donating to The Offing today, whether one-time or monthly.

Kosiso Ugwueze: I loved the relationship between father and son in “A Natural History of Briefly Gorgeous Vegetables.” I found it affecting, a father trying to pass on knowledge to his son but understanding the dangers of such knowledge. Did you plot this relationship in advance or did it materialize as you began to write? What, if anything, do you think is significant about father/son relationships, something that perhaps we do not always see?


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An excerpt from Suiyi Tang’s “American Symphony: Other White Lies” was published in The Offing’s Fiction department on October 1, 2019. Q&A conducted by Di Jayawickrema, Fiction Reader.

Donate to The Offing! Our Patreon supporters received early access to this Q&A with The Offing contributor Suiyi Tang, and receive other perks as well. The Offing pays our contributors, and we appreciate the help of all of our supporters in sustaining our work. If you are able, consider donating to The Offing today, whether one-time or monthly.

Di Jayawickrema: The first excerpt from American Symphony: Other White Lies published at The Offing is a review engaging with the work of Elena Ferrante. Your reading of Ferrante crystallized for me what I love about her Neapolitan series but had never articulated for myself. Ferrante’s subterranean power is how much she reveals without been seen, and therefore, without being pinned down — “the language of shadows is the tongue of elena ferrante” as you precisely put it. Do you also see your book as an act of gendered and racialized refusal? …


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2020 is The Offing’s fifth birthday and Apogee’s ten-year anniversary!

Come celebrate with six authors (all joint contributors) who are writing what’s possible for literatures to come.

We’ll dream up what our communities need for ten more years of extraordinary publishing — writing for us and by us, another decade at the outermost.

Free and open to all. Food and drinks for sale by The Cherrity Bar, just a mile from the convention center. On the ground floor, wheelchair-accessible.

We’re expecting a full house, so come through early.

* * *

Quenton Baker is a poet, educator, and Cave Canem fellow. His current focus is black interiority and the afterlife of slavery. He is the author of This Glittering Republic (Willow Books, 2016). …


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Ọna Anosike’s “The Return” was published in The Offing’s Fiction department on July 29, 2019. Q&A conducted by Bix Gabriel, Fiction Editor.

Donate to The Offing! Our Patreon supporters received early access to this Q&A with The Offing contributor Ọna Anosike, and receive other perks as well. The Offing pays our contributors, and we appreciate the help of all of our supporters in sustaining our work. If you are able, consider donating to The Offing today, whether one-time or monthly.

Bix Gabriel: One of the aspects of The Return that I loved was how the body becomes, is, vegetation, the “wild leek finger,” for instance. How did you hit upon the idea of the body returning to plant life? …


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By Bix Gabriel, Editor, Enumerate

The nuns who taught me catechism in Sunday school had high expectations — and wooden rulers they didn’t hesitate to use. No matter that we, the students, were six years old, we had to memorize and recite the story of genesis beginning with On the first day, God said let there be light, and ending, on the seventh day, with the creation of the day of rest. Then, as now, I recall only the first and the last events in this enumeration of how the universe came to exist.

Still, I have to admire the ingenuity to use the form of a list — wrapped in a story — to explain something as vast as the creation of the universe, of life. Whatever your beliefs, writers of the bible were on to something. Lists make the infinite and the unfathomable somehow calculable.


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Sophia Terazawa’s “Daughter’s Guide to Lavender” was published in The Offing’s Fiction department on September 9, 2019. Q&A conducted by Mary Pappalardo, Assistant Editor, Fiction

Donate to The Offing! Our Patreon supporters received early access to this Q&A with The Offing contributor Sophia Terazawa, and receive other perks as well. The Offing pays our contributors, and we appreciate the help of all of our supporters in sustaining our work. If you are able, consider donating to The Offing today, whether one-time or monthly.

Mary Pappalardo: I’m struck by the complicated relationship you present between the narrator and her mother; it encompasses so many different ways of being to and with each other, like protectiveness, responsibility, betrayal, memory, forgetting, storytelling, obfuscation. In your writing process, when did that delicate, intimate relationship come into focus? …


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Donate to The Offing! Our Patreon supporters received early access to this book review, and receive other perks as well. The Offing pays our contributors, and we appreciate the help of all of our supporters in sustaining our work. If you are able, consider donating to The Offing today, whether one-time or monthly.

By Lucia LoTempio

If you were to shout back into the cavern of childhood, what would reverberate back? The opening image of Rainie Oet’s No Mark Spiral features the young speaker and their brother calling down into a “tall brass vase,” answered not just with their own voices, but with a swarm of wasps. …

About

The Offing

theoffingmag.com is an online literary magazine that publishes risk-taking work by new, emerging, and established writers and artists.

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