[…] I understand that China has no use for my affections. They will not save me from what many in this country see as the unforgivable fact of my foreignness, my blackness. Most pressingly, these affections will not save any of us from the long-term effects that exposure to this environment is having on our bodies.
All of them appeared to be composed of sharp angles between muscle and bone, stretched taught and teasing the notion that a body can rip—that theirs hadn’t yet.
by Monique Daviau
Plates and bowls are meant to be simple conveyances for food, but now eating at home would possess the burden of memory: each grown-up, lonely dinner of spaghetti with jarred sauce and salad from a bag would be served on plates that screamed in my face COLLEGE! YOUTH! 1998! NORTHAMPTON! NEVER EATING ALONE! Over time, would these thirty-six pieces of cracked, used china simply become my regular old dishes, no longer returning to my mind an amalgam of dusty, distant college memories? Did I want my Madeleine or didn’t I?
All eighteen students in my College Writing course this fall showed up prepared and on-time for their 15-minute, one-on-one meetings with me during week three of the semester.
This issue of MQR brings together academic essays, high-level journalism, personal narratives, fiction, poetry, and visual art responding to the transformations of Jewish experience in the United States during the last fifty years, and, speculatively, extending into the twenty-first century. It offers writings that respond to the multiplicity of representations, cultural forms, fashionings and refashionings, that have defined the experience of Jews in America and continue to compel debate. These include works by Jews and non-Jews that engage contemporary controversies in the fields of politics, sociocultural dynamics, the arts, and the relation of Jewish life in America to other historical periods, other geographical places.