Sarah Kornfeld was born and raised in the experimental theatre of New York City. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and has taught cultural curation at the University of San Francisco. She is a founding member of the Blue Mind Collective studying the impact of the ocean on our lives and well-being. She lives by the sea in the Bay Area of California. What Stella Sees (reviewed here) is her debut novel. www.sarahkornfeld.net.
What Stella Sees, Sarah Kornfeld’s complex debut novel, is about convergence and displacement. Above all, it is about perception: the consequences of its absence and the obligations of its presence. Young Stella is ill, it seems, with a peculiar form of epilepsy that eludes diagnosis and treatment. Her parents Rachel and Michael are in the throes of divorce, increasingly estranged from their own selves as well as one another, while they careen off specialists and medical regimes, a process that takes them from New York and San Francisco to Paris in search of a cure for their daughter. Yet Stella sees other things, too. Her seizures are a kind of vision-state in which she is able to explore the ocean depths, discovering real and imagined creatures that inform her art – the art of creating worlds of meaning inside the tiny whorls of seashells.
Sam Reese is the author of Come the Tide, a collection of short stories, reviewed here. Hailing from Aotearoa/New Zealand, Sam is an insatiable traveller and self-confessed short story nerd. He has lived and worked in Sydney, London, and now York, and his fiction has found further homes in magazines around the world. When not writing stories, he is usually writing about them; his first critical work, The Short Story in Midcentury America, won the 2018 Arthur Miller Centre First Book Prize.
Come the Tide is a sun-soaked, water-drenched, variegated collection of thirteen short stories that explores the ambiguous psychic implications of the now-you-see-it/now-you-don’t liminal terrain where dry land meets restless water. Ancient myths haunt these tales of oceans and islands, lakes and swimming pools, while bodies of water of all kinds – with their dangers and temptations, promises and secrets – weigh heavily on human protagonists drowning in uncertainty, insecurity and betrayal.Continue reading
Jendi Reiter’s wise and ambitious novel Two Natures is the story of young gay man Julian Selkirk who, Crusoe-like, finds himself washed ashore in New York in 1991 and ‘dependent on the kindness of strangers.’ Julian is an aspiring fashion photographer, whose career lows and highs quickly alternate, mirroring his personal exploration of the gay scene and his search for love. The spiritual and the carnal, the beautiful and the sordid, interweave in complex patterns, overshadowed by the gathering AIDS crisis, as the years to 1996 become increasingly hostile to difference. The intensely personal is the politically fraught, and Julian has to cope with the vagaries of love and ambition while mourning friends and lovers.
Jendi Reiter is the author of the novel Two Natures (Saddle Road Press, 2016), the short story collectionAn Incomplete List of My Wishes(Sunshot Press, 2018), and four poetry books and chapbooks, most recently Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree, 2015). Awards include a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for Poetry, the New Letters Prize for Fiction, the Wag’s Revue Poetry Prize, the Bayou Magazine Editor’s Prize in Fiction, and two awards from the Poetry Society of America. Two Natures won the Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Fiction and was a finalist for the Book Excellence Awards and the Lascaux Prize for Fiction. Reiter is the editor of WinningWriters.com, an online resource site with contests and markets for creative writers.