Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Category: Duppy Thursday

Akashic Books is proud to introduce a new flash fiction series, Duppy Thursday. Though we’re based in Brooklyn, our location envy of the Caribbean is evident throughout our catalog. One aspect of Caribbean literature that appeals to us is the integration of folklore into contemporary stories—a perfect example being Jamaican author Marlon James’s debut novel John Crow’s Devil, which we published to great critical acclaim in 2005. Whether it be the spider Anansi, the devil woman La Diablesse, the Soucouyant, Mama Dlo, or Papa Bois, these mythical beings have injected life (and death) into the literature of the region. As with our other flash fiction series, we challenge you to tell your story in 750 words or less.

“On or Off This Island” by Robert Arellano

My grandmother Fefita sits for la cena while my great-grandmother Maria Antonia cautions her on the caprices of obstetrics. Fefita is six months pregnant with her first child, my aunt Juana.

“The crying is horrible,” Doña Maria Antonia counsels her fresh-faced daughter-in-law, “but the silence is far worse.”


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