We can’t tell how much of a coincidence it is that all of the essays we chose for this issue are from women writers. In the wake of the tumult and vitriol that marked 2017, we saw women’s voices and stories bubbling to the surface, louder and stronger than ever before. In the four nonfiction pieces we chose, we saw women grappling with loss, identity, expectations, and family, all themes we saw emerge in public discourse in the past year.
In “Islamophobia,” Soukaina Eljamri grapples with being proud of her Muslim identity living in post-9/11 America. In “Softest White Cotton,” Suvi Mahonen copes with profound loss. “Winter Honey,” by Melissa Wiley, explores a family’s expectations of womanhood. And Anna Gore wonders who she is beneath the surface, and if anyone else will ever find out, in “They Weren’t From Dallas.”
We’re proud to share the work of these writers, and we hope you enjoy their work as much as we do. Though the past year has proven difficult for many on a personal level, as Melissa Wiley writes, “…life offers its share of sweetness even when all the world looks frozen.”