Lorraine and James – 2005
Volume 1 Issue 1
The auspicious debut issue of Lorraine and James compliments its diverse fiction with personal essays, some poetry, one interview and a contributor’s page that offers a brief explanation of the story’s inspiration and/or development.
The auspicious debut issue of Lorraine and James compliments its diverse fiction with personal essays, some poetry, one interview and a contributor’s page that offers a brief explanation of the story’s inspiration and/or development. Mindful of reader and writer, this curiosity for story demonstrates Editor-in-Chief Jasai Madden’s intention to be a “conduit through which a writer from anywhere will be able to connect to readers everywhere.” There are folktales of love and satires on Hollywood, religious parables and an ode to a dullard, poems as honest and incisive as the personal essays that reveal more about people than the single subject. In “Sweet Potatoes and Coconut” by Pamela MacIsaac, a father must confront the upstairs neighbor’s idiot child who dropped a rock on his head. His daughter returns to her mother and the father must accept the life of a divorcee. Many of the pieces in Lorraine and James share the tireless theme of broken bonds. Debbie Ann Ice, in “Sculpting,” inverts that theme with her poignantly convincing first-person telling of a wife and mother who deals with her terminal non-Hotchkins lymphoma by preparing her husband and two sons for her death without telling them of the disease. There is a playfulness about Lorraine and James as well, represented best by Rick Castaneda’s quirky string of short-shorts, “Four Easy Pieces of Fiction.” The unrelated tales include a thief who sells rich peoples’ keepsakes to lonely people, a conjurer, a woman who chronically changes her personalized license plate, and a love story about a couple inspired by commercials, jingles, movies and songs, “The only trouble was the muzak, which our brains began to associate with sex.” The evocative poem “The Want Ads” reads like performance poetry, Britni Jackson’s voice leaping from the page to your ear. From the slums of a Nigerian motor park to the steps of a synagogue, “characters, neighborhoods and instances too often out of range” are represented in Lorraine and James.