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Other Voices – Fall/Winter 2003

Other Voices is the perfect title for this journal from Chicago, for a provocative sense of voice is exactly the thing one carries away from its pages. Of the eighteen stories featured in the Fall/Winter issue, thirteen are first-person perspectives, and the intimacy of these narratives is so cumulatively bewitching that one has the sense of having dwelt for a time in a chamber of souls.

Other Voices is the perfect title for this journal from Chicago, for a provocative sense of voice is exactly the thing one carries away from its pages. Of the eighteen stories featured in the Fall/Winter issue, thirteen are first-person perspectives, and the intimacy of these narratives is so cumulatively bewitching that one has the sense of having dwelt for a time in a chamber of souls. For the most part, the stories here are tough, visceral, urban ones, laced now and then with bitter humor or stabbing ironies. The characters are often lonely or lost men and women staggering around at the rims of family or romance. But not always. Serena Crawford’s “Year Abroad” is particularly touching, and sensuously describes a woman’s long encounter, at age twenty, with Taiwan and the expatriate way of life there. “Pigeon,” by Laura Ruby, follows the alternately painful and hilarious exploits of a man newly awakened to the wonders of self-employment as he peddles vitamins Amway-style. Leelila Strogov’s “Paper Slippers” evokes gasps with its concise and artful examination of a woman considering abortion. Other Voices is especially notable for the wealth of female writers it publishes, twelve in this issue alone. [Other Voices, University of Illinois at Chicago, Dept. of English, 601 South Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7120. E-mail: [email protected]. Single issue $7. www.othervoicesmagazine.org] – MC

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