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Anna Leigh Morrow Invites Us into Her Nana’s House

Still Point Arts Quarterly - Spring 2020Magazine Review by Katy Haas

The latest issue of Still Point Arts Quarterly is dedicated to “Grandparents and Other Wise Ancestors.” The art centers on this theme and the featured writers share stories of the family who came before them. Of these, Anna Leigh Morrow’s “Home-Canned Magic” really jumped out at me.

Morrow focuses on her grandmother’s house and the magic that seemed to be conjured there. Morrow states that while it’s both her grandparents’ house, calling it “Nana’s house” makes more sense: “Nana is so completely the queen of her domestic domain that I often use only her name when I talk about their home.” I found this piece so easy to relate to, especially now as my family has been cleaning out my grandparents’ house (though I, too, have always called it “grandma’s house”) after my grandpa’s passing in January. Climbing the precarious ladder up to the attic for the first time in years and poking through my grandmother’s old belongings in the rafters brought back my own memories of childhood magic at my own “Nana’s house.”

Morrow reveres her grandmother in the ways she has sacrificed for her family and continues to love and support them throughout the years. She details moments of magic—her green thumb, her ability to create through cooking for her grandchildren, her ability to show others where to find their own magic.

Simple and straight forward, Morrow lets readers into her Nana’s kitchen for a visit, letting us get to know the woman who encouraged and inspired her as she grew up. This piece is welcoming and full of love, a nice thing to read as a reminder of the good that surrounds us during the chaos of current events.

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