The MAY 2006 edition of Margin is now live!
THIS HAS been a fun issue to put together. After all, magical realism relies on the ordinary for its value. What could be more ordinary than life in a quiet little town in the backwater of Colombia (consider Gabo's Macondo), or the experiences of a solitary traveller looking for a room to let (in Thomas Mann's "The Wardrobe"), or the study of a city map (for a "Street of Crocodiles")?
In Chocolat, the chocolatier hanging her shingle in a conservative French village isn't all that extraordinary, until you realize she's learning the future through batches of confection she stirs up daily. In Anjali Banerjee's funny novel, Imaginary Men, an American matchmaker with Indian roots is not so unusual to ponder until you learn she has literally witnessed the physiological process of lovers uniting. And what's so exceptional about mourning the loss of one's child? Except that readers of Toni Morrison's powerful novel, Beloved, will set you straight: that was no ordinary loss, and she was no ordinary child.
Domesticities seemed the perfect title for this edition revolving around daily life. It's a term narrow enough to conjure a sense of home, yet broad enough to be applied on multiple levels. Domestic life is about work, family, land. Homeland is a word we can all relate to, but in myriad different ways. Whether we come from city or country, whether we have large or small families, whether we have money or not, the homeland might be one of the few constructs that defines us together even when we are living distinctly different lives.
In this edition, you'll find a wide array of interpretations of domestic life:
the sad consequence of living in a paper house ~ the vivid links between generations of abused women in West Virginia ~ the treasures one finds under a pile of dirty dishes ~ the way one genius built his ascension to Heaven ~ the continuity of a town even underwater ~ the picture window revealing lost pasts ~ the barnyard messages of animal tracks ~ the living past at a Civil War site ~ the magically enhanced lives of certain Irish immigrants ~ the puzzling result of eating tainted fruit ~ the tall tale of a legendary swamp lover ~ the miracle of snowfall on a Southern barn ~ the building of a personal labyrinth ~ the story of one runaway boy who wiped out racial tension in a blue-collar town ~ the startling way one woman captured a man's heart ~ the plight of a fisherman at the end of his life ~ the animation of a home as an orphan searches for her mother
Stephen Benz ~ A.D. Conrad ~ Mark D'Anna ~ Emily Dickinson~ Maureen Tolman Flannery ~ Mary Clair Ervin Gildea ~ Pauline Holdstock ~ Pamela Hughes ~ Barbara Jacksha ~ Sondra Kelly-Green ~ Sheila Nickerson ~ Stephanie Rodriguez ~ Sandra Schwayer Sanchez ~ Lois Schlegel ~ Jerry Spinelli ~ Jodee Stanley
• Check out the crystal ball icon on our contents page. Roll your cursor over it and you will foresee into a bit of Margin's future for 2006!
• Coming in June: a special international edition
• Our general reading period is still CLOSED. Sorry, we've got 2006 filled! Subscribers are the first to learn of new calls for submissions: if you haven't subscribed, you ought to do so soon, as the free option may vanish later this year!
• SOUTHERN REVIVAL: DEEP MAGIC FOR HURRICANE RELIEF is now available! We're asking for $10 minimum, 100% of each donation forwarded to First Book. Many thanks for The Georgia Review and The North American Review for their assistance in helping us promote this important fundraiser.
• Keep In Touch! Our MAGICAL REALISM NEWS BLOG is back and better than ever. If you have any magical realism news you'd like to contribute, drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you enjoy this "ordinary" edition of Margin. Perhaps it will remind you of that moment in your life when you stepped between worlds for a breath or two and found something new. You know of such moments. We've all had them. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they come daily. Were we to look for them, what would we discover about ourselves? Probably much more to write home about than we previously thought.
Time for me to get back to my garden of words.
Tamara Kaye Sellman, Editor and Publisher
aka The Magical Realism Maven
(SEE current TABLE OF CONTENTS)