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“Tony” is an original short story from Celine Aenlle-Rocha’s collection in progress, inspired by her own family history. Each story centers on a different descendent of a creole family from Louisiana and depicts how each member’s relationship to their Black identity shifts and transforms over time as the family migrates across the United States. In “Tony” an unnamed family member acts as the family historian. The interplay of the two voices, Tony’s and the narrator’s, reminds us how oral tradition holds a family’s legacy together even when physical and spiritual migrations have torn them apart.

Hanging Out with Dad

Readers might be more familiar with Mark Leidner’s poetry than with his prose. But the beautiful, bruising hilarity of his poems carries over to his short stories. There aren’t many books I've recommended more often or more strongly than Leidner's 2018 collection, Under The Sea. The present story, “Hanging Out with Dad,” tests universality and particularity—the whatness of a father/son relationship and the thisness of a particular father and a particular son. In all of Leidner's work, a reader can draw general insight from closely-rendered moments, which might not necessarily be a balm for our abundant confusion, but will certainly make it more interesting.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2022

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