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In Elias Rodriques forthcoming novel, All the Water Ive Seen Is Running, Daniel, a queer mixed-race Jamaican-American man living in New York City is drawn back to the conservative North Florida town he once dreamed of escaping, after learning of the sudden death of a close friend. What follows is unlike any coming of age story Ive ever read. Returning to his former home stirs up memories long suppressed, but Rodriques lyrical excavation of Daniel digs into not only his childhood but also the experiences of his family in Jamaica. Though alienated from most of his peers as a teen because of his race, class, sexuality, and nationality, Rodriques sets Daniel in vivid nature scenessuch as the one that begins this excerptto show how he made his own home on the water. The dialogue throughout the novel is also a highlight, as we see how fluidly Daniel is able to code-switch to navigate between his multiple identities.
Our original fiction this month comes from Brooklyn writer Chris Arp. In Dog Story, a cantankerous father adopts a dog for his daughter. Crisp observation and introspective flashes reveal a chewed up character who wants a better world, but finds dark humor in the world he has.