Letter from our Fiction Editor
My name is Christopher Louis Romaguera, and I am the new Fiction Editor at The New Southern Fugitives. I am a Cuban-American writer who was born in Hialeah, Florida, and raised in Miami. For the majority of the last ten years I’ve lived in New Orleans, where I got my MFA at the University of New Orleans. I’ve been published in The Daily Beast, Curbed National, PANK Magazine, New Orleans Review and other publications. I have been a monthly columnist at The Ploughshares Blog for over the last two years.
That is my writer’s bio. But that doesn’t explain my love of stories. My love of stories, my love of writing, started differently. I fell in love with stories as a child, sitting and hearing my father and mis abuelos create a world I had never been to strictly through stories, Cuba. I learned to love stories between games of basketball on my old block, each of us telling a story, real or stretched, from our different homes, different schools, different lives. The first audience I ever had for my stories sat on the green power box. I learned and loved my first friends through stories on that old box. All of our stories, about belonging. Wanting to belong somewhere, or to each other, or just on this planet. I started to write, because I wanted my stories to be solid, to be something physical, so that if nothing else, at least my writing, my thoughts, could be held, could belong to me.
As Fiction Editor, I selected three short stories that all center around the theme of “belonging.” As we exited a 2020 that had many of us isolated from our loved ones, from the places and people and things we love, a lot of us are left wondering where we belong in this world. In each of the three fiction pieces in issue two of volume four, we see characters yearning to belong: to their families, to their homes, to the world around them. Each of these stories feels like it needs to be told.
In “A Mothers Gift,” Michelle Tang writes about Vida, who navigates trauma and her family as her mother’s funeral approaches. In “Benediction,” Adam Carter writes a first-person narrative that sums up the narrator’s life on the first line and takes the reader through the journey back to that line with a resonant final image. And in “The Days Without Time” Caroline Fernelius takes the reader up and down the South, up and down the memories of a childhood, searching for meaning. Each of these stories needed to be told. Each of these stories about belonging. Each of these stories belonging to all of us, to read, to listen to, to know, to start this new year.
Christopher Louis Romaguera