Issue 24. May 2012
The Going-Back Partydownload
A farewell gathering held by the Calcutta Heritage Society of Northern California is the starting point for Bharati Mukherjee's story "The Going-Back Party". Shefali Sinha watches as the actions of the guests reveal the envy, nostalgia, and uncertainty that direct their interactions. The story goes on to offer a wry and insightful meditation on distance and closeness, and on the ways in which our emotions can surprise us.
Kamela Jordan's "Fried Locusts" evokes a childhood spent in Thailand and a child's world of discovery, rivalrly, and allegiance. Jordan's essay hints at the ways in which the distinction between the exotic and the familiar blurs and shifts. Through a tale of children catching locusts to eat, she raises interesting questions about the nature of home.
A broken marriage and a change of scenery find the protagonist of Jean Ryan's "Migration" examining her past and planning a future in northern California. A flock of geese by her house, and one particular goose who refuses to leave, lead Erica to consider old bonds and new loyalties as she charts a new life.
In Colette Sartor's "Daredevil," a little girl becomes the catalyst for unsettling and then tragic events in the lives of a young mother, Grace, and her son Aidan. The story explores issues of faith, risk-taking, and the limits of sympathy, and looks at the many ways in which a home can be threatened.