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Fiction

Editor’s Note

This month we’re pleased to publish an excerpt from Vesna Maric’s The President Shop. The novel’s backdrop is an allegorical country, The Nation, steeped in tyranny, but the focus is on the human rather than the trappings of propaganda. I was struck by the young woman, Mona, decoding the timelessness that’s always present, even as we pass through moments that are consciously historic. “Symbology,” by Betsy M. Narváez, abounds in images, meanings, dreams, and visions. Here, there’s no official, waking world, little external at all. Narváez gives us resonant moments over coffee of a mother and a daughter unpuzzling the language of dreams. We’re also tremendously fortunate to have Maisy Card stepping in as co-editor of the fiction section of the Brooklyn Rail. Her debut novel, These Ghosts are Family, masterfully courses through the history of a family while communicating the texture and hunger of life as it was lived.

Symbology

My mother began sharing her nightmares with me the same year I unfurled and grew taller than anyone had anticipated, an alien in a family of pygmies.

from The President Shop

Mona is sprawled across the park sofa. She can see the wisp of a cloud threaded into the blue of the sky. She can see the tree branches moving. The silver birch leaves shimmer like coins.

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The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2021

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