Dear Reader, If ever there was a year that needed careful Reflection 2016 is certainly that year; a year that has seen the deaths of many legends and heroes from David Bowie in the 2nd week of January to Prince in April followed in June with the passing of the iconic Muhammad Ali– and in fact as I type this, news breaks that Cuban leader Fidel Castro has passed.
2016 has also been a year that has seen a changing of the guard &; establishments the world over, with the rise of populist revolutions both sides of the Atlantic.
The UK had Brexit, whilst in the USA the Republicans witnessed an unconventional return to power in the form of Billionaire business man Donald Trump, a man with no previous political experience – though many have been surprised by this rise of populist voting, for me this comes as no surprise as for many years the left has been neglecting the voices of disgruntled blue collar workers, voters who came out in force to support Donald Trump – who played on the chaos and fears of many of these blue collar workers the driving force in bringing the Republicans back into the White House.
Ever since the UK’s rather perverse self-defeating vote in June to leave the European dream, it seemed plausible that the same anti-globalization, at times –xenophobic forces would carry Trump to victory. And for many Americans – and this pains me to say- a woman following a black man to the White House was just simply too much to swallow.
As we reflect and think on the year to come, both France and Germany will enter into elections – and it seems already lessons have not been learnt from events of 2016 as the media are already predicting that in France the far-right do not stand a chance to come into power. I can predict that Germany will not see a coming into power of the far-right as there is no charismatic figure head leading it’s far right – as the UK and the USA had in Nigel Farage and Donald Trump.
But it seems all is not lost – the highlight in 2016 for me was the reflective Donald Glover ‘aka Childish Gambino’s new comedy TV show Atlanta, which is an introspective look at the city’s rap scene as well as the cultural differences in society.
We must not underestimate the significance of shows like Atlanta and the Arts in general.
From all this – not to sound overly optimistic- we should enter the new year with the thought of what are the opportunities going forward, what solutions can come out of such disappointments and how we as a society can become stronger from them and learn from our mistakes.
In Litro 158: Reflections we open the issue with Jeanne Panfely’s Apis, a story about a woman who reflects on a love lost.
Our first of two essays is from some one who clearly is on path to becoming a formidable voice of her generation Namrata Verghese, a second year student at the Atlanta based Emory University and a Robert W. Woodruff Scholar, her personal Essay, Desi Girl’s is about a young Indian -American woman growing up in the west, exploring how her culture and identity has been shaped by her experiences.
Written in 31 pieces during her 31st year, What Do You Carry And How Are You Keeping by Laura Tansley attempts to address a series of anxieties about place by collecting every ticket stub received in 2015.
Our Flash Fiction piece is Tidelines by Giselle Leeb.
In Giant by Dakota James deals with the aftermath of a broken relationship.
Kulfiwala by Hema Pedhu is told from a child’s point of view, a mother leaves her child for an afternoon and in that span of time the child’s understanding and her home life changes.
I Wanted to Catch a Whale By Alaina Isbouts is a reflection on happy family get-togethers.
My Wife’s Novel by Michael LaPointe, a writer reflects on his novel.
I hope the collections we have chosen this month gives a cathartic entry into 2017 wishing you all a peaceful holiday season, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight our team player of the season Litro’s Assistant Fiction Editor Barney Walsh!