In the prose section of the Fall 2017 edition of VoiceCatcher, no one is safe. In the stories that made the cut for this issue (and almost all of those that didn’t) there is overarching need to confront the absence of safety and the impending uncertainty of the future. Old ways of being have become too restrictive, too dangerous—or maybe just too boring. In each story, a woman is healing, in her own way, from violence, abuse, or self-doubt, and we join her at a point where she is learning what she’s capable of. In “A Face in the Mirror” and “Warriors,” a woman struggles to locate her authentic self in a world that is not the just or safely-ordered place she craves. Others are gripped by the desire for a better life—discovering the pull of the ocean (“Up & Down”); or navigating out of the consequences of compromising relationship choices (“Nickel Song”).
The writers featured in this section are our own local talent: courageous, thoughtful, and smart women who refuse to be trapped by tired, predictable narratives. Their protagonists transcend stereotype or victimhood. This journey into challenging and uncomfortable territory is exactly what we as readers want and need. Regardless of whether our lives are mundane or melodramatic, we live in a world that seems off-kilter. When we enter these stories, we join the author on the brink of the unknown, and through the lived experience of nonfiction—and in one case, the underlying truth of fiction—we make the transition from restriction to opportunity. We take from these pieces a resilience and creativity to meet the large and small challenges of our own lives.
We admire the determination and heart of our four prose writers. Voicecatcher is honored to bring their truth to the world.
Delia Garigan, Kelli Grinich, and Edee Lemonier
VoiceCatcher Prose Editors