Anna B. Moore’s “Deathbed” essay in Pembroke Magazine describes the end of her father’s life from her perspective as his primary caretaker. As a narrator, she questions her relationship with her father, but her feelings seem to change as she navigates his dying state. Rather than being a story of redemption or some other giant paradigmatic shift, it is instead one of understanding as she reflects on her father’s character. Interwoven with this narrative is her experience staying in a rented basement apartment while she is away to take care of her father.
Each scene offers details that serve to characterize her father, such as the description of his bedside table in the hospital: “Cluttered with old books, used drinking glasses, folded newspapers, used Kleenexes, his wallet, some coins and pens, a magnifying glass.” She also emphasizes his breathing throughout the piece, almost rhythmically, so that we not only see his physical deterioration into death, but also gain insight into his feelings just as she does. A seemingly simple piece on the surface, Moore captivates the reader and approaches the subject of death in a familiar yet sincere way.
In the latest issue of Pembroke Magazine, Jessica Hertz writes of the “Fictional Women I Have Known.” This five-part piece focuses on Alice from Alice in Wonderland, the mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen’s or Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Persephone, the sister from “The Six Swans” fairy tale, and Eve.
Each section explores the complexities of their feelings, their desires, and their realities. They’re not flat women on a page but are thought-out and developed even in the small space provided. I enjoyed Hertz’s take on each of them, and my favorites were the mermaid and Eve. The mermaid is faced with having to choose between a voice or the ability to dance, a choice she wishes she did not have to make. Eve is faced with a choice—eat the offered fruit or don’t—and Hertz asserts she knew exactly what she was doing when she accepted, a take I appreciated.
Peer into the inner thoughts and feelings of these five fictional women with Hertz as your guide.
The latest issue of Pembroke Magazine contains poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by emerging and established authors from the US and abroad. A young mother struggling to nurse trades notes with a gorilla; a Midwesterner finds a bathing suit in a sock drawer that whisks his mind back to a Grecian beach; a woman desperately seeks to return to her home at the edge of the world; a man takes a manic road trip with his schizophrenic uncle; a couple in a gated community is saddled with the job of maintaining an exalted lawn; a woman flees a California wildfire for a holy site near Albuquerque; and much more. Cover art by Margie Labadie.
Pembroke Magazine is a literary journal from the University of North Carolina Pembroke. They publish new issues annually. Grab a copy of their 2019 issue featuring poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by writers living in eighteen states and abroad while you still can. You can also subscribe today to get your hands on the 2020 issue when it is officially released.
Muhammad Ali’s greatness dances across the page, witnessed from multiple perspectives; a frustrated writer begins receiving mysterious bars of chocolate that may or may not be driving him crazy; a long-separated couple makes love as the Twin Towers fall on TV; a vulture does its terrible and necessary work; a young man and woman enjoy the romantic machinations of fate—or something else—in Venice; a man considers the many useless skills he’s accumulated in life; a college student risks her safety by hitchhiking back to campus with a mysterious trucker; and much more. Cover art by Alexander Grigoriev.
They are currently open to submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry through April 30. You even have the option of purchasing their latest issue when you submit.