Guernica Magazine2 min read
Moving Forward
Guernica magazine was founded twenty years ago with a mission to confront power with counter narrative. A literary space of dissent that, in the words of George Saunders, “respects the life of the mind with an intensity rarely seen these days,” Guern
Guernica Magazine11 min read
The Smoke of the Land Went Up
We were the three of us in bed together, the Palm Tree Wholesaler and the Division-I High Jumper and me. The High Jumper slept in the middle and on his side, his back facing me and his left leg thrown over the legs of the Palm Tree Wholesaler, who re
Guernica Magazine8 min read
The Glove
It’s hard to imagine history more irresistibly told than it is in The Swan’s Nest, Laura. McNeal’s novel about the love affair between two giants of nineteenth century poetry, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett. Its contours are, surely, familiar
Guernica Magazine2 min read
Elegy For A River
Most mighty rivers enjoy a spectacular finale: a fertile delta, a mouth agape to the sea, a bay of plenty. But it had taken me almost a week to find where the Amu Darya comes to die. Decades ago the river fed the Aral Sea, the world’s fourth largest
Guernica Magazine10 min read
Black Wing Dragging Across the Sand
The next to be born was quite small, about the size of a sweet potato. The midwife said nothing to the mother at first but, upon leaving the room, warned her that the girl might not survive. No one seemed particularly concerned; after all, if she liv
Guernica Magazine14 min read
The Chicken Line
What had these poor half-beasts done, besides exist in an ever-changing world that didn’t want to understand them?
Guernica Magazine7 min read
Arrivals and Departures
“The year I found my own independence was the year they finally gained the right to go — and to stay — home.”
Guernica Magazine13 min read
The Jaws of Life
To begin again the story: Tawny had been unzipping Carson LaFell’s fly and preparing to fit her head between his stomach and the steering wheel when the big red fire engine came rising over the fogged curve of the earth. I saw it but couldn’t say any
Guernica Magazine17 min read
Sleeper Hit
He sounded ready to cry. If I could see his face better in the dark, it might have scared me even more. Who was this person who felt so deeply?
Guernica Magazine5 min read
Growing up, your teachers always told you: “Al-Qahira taqharu’l I’ida.” Cairo vanquishes her enemies.
Guernica Magazine19 min read
On Farms
For a country that has lost touch with any mainstream practice of farming, what does it mean for us to want to farm again?
Guernica Magazine14 min read
Salome Asega: “We Need To Build Digital Brawn To Ensure We Will See Ourselves In The Future.”
A conversation excerpted from Where Is Africa, Vol. I — a collection of interviews with artists engaged in representing Africa across geographical spaces — just published by the Center for Art, Research, and Alliances (CARA) in New York City. CARA is
Guernica Magazine1 min read
Seeing Red
Somehow, this singular color has woven through our work this month. Alexander Lumans thusly conjures it (even embracing the eponymous Taylor Swift album) as a centerpiece of his short story “The Jaws of Life”: “Red, the color of state clay and C&Cs a
Guernica Magazine2 min read
We start the year confronting — and confronted by — the centripetal power of whiteness. Youssef Rakha, a novelist who was born and lives in Egypt, recounts a lifelong journey to forge the “new, contemporary ore” of culture in the aftermath of coloni
Guernica Magazine13 min read
I am driving to stillwaters, to Stilbaai. Driving a narrow dirt road along wide empty land that bears sign of scars. White wash farm homes stare blank at open veld. Shutter-style windows and empty doorways gape like jackal jaws locked in rigor mortis
Guernica Magazine12 min read
Rachel Nolan: In the Best Interest of the Child
A new book gets inside Guatemala’s international adoption industry and the complicated context of deciding a child’s welfare.
Guernica Magazine5 min read
The Middle Field
A doctor told me the heart never forgets a child. If true, hers guards the memory of me like a jealous secret.
Guernica Magazine1 min read
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time . . . (10/20/1916–10/22/1916) Once upon a time, there was a lord who lit Fire to his castle, so as to be free to wander the great roads of the world. He ventured everywhere, stopping only when his means were spent. And here I sit, tr
Guernica Magazine24 min readVisual Arts
Come Stay
My family is mouths spread wide like wounds, telling everything but the story that must be told.
Guernica Magazine3 min readWorld
Good Mourning Palestine
Gooood Mourning Pa-les-tiiiiiiiiiine! Hey, this is not a test, this is rocks and stones. Time to rock it from Masaffer Yata to Jerusalem. Is that me or does that sound like a Mahmoud Darwish poem? To Our land, Oh To Our Land, Ana Min Hinaak, Ana Min
Guernica Magazine24 min read
My Mother’s Stalker
My mother’s stalker is not tall, not short. He wears black sunglasses and khaki shorts and a floral button-down. The flowers resemble bloodied fingers: nails gnawed off, skin sanded away, wands of bone exposed. My mother’s stalker drives a dust-color
Guernica Magazine7 min read
“The Last Time I Came to Burn Paper”
There are much easier ways to write a debut novel, but Aube Rey Lescure has decided to have none of ease. River East, River West is an intergenerational epic, the story of a single family whose lives span a period of sweeping cultural change in China
Guernica Magazine9 min read
I, Ghost
A surly old man is speaking Hebrew on my laptop screen. He scowls. He says, “I have ordered a complete siege.” He gestures his resolve. He says, “No electricity, no food, no fuel, no water,” counting on his fingers to emphasize each negation. He glar
Guernica Magazine8 min readGender Studies
Amanda Montei: The Impossible Desire
Amanda Montei’s Touched Out is a new kind of expedition across and within a mother’s body. In some ways, the memoir slots easily within a motherhood canon that has developed over the last decade, one that moves away from dispensing advice to reckon i
Guernica Magazine24 min read
Vanishing Line
On January 11, 2023, the road was a crime scene. That day, an IED exploded beneath the first car in a convoy of Kenyan engineers and construction workers, killing all four passengers. Only the road witnessed the militants digging the hole to place th
Guernica Magazine12 min read
A Loud and Hungry Darkness
Twenty years after the Second Intifada, Samar Batrawi reflects on stories of life endured under Israeli military occupation in Ramallah. Through a mosaic of personal and collective memories, the writer and friends from her youth unearth what they rem
Guernica Magazine19 min read
On Beauty and Violence
As a child, violence was a geography I could visualize: a slab of earth in the Minnesotan suburbs, with a rock garden and two pink azaleas, a geography from which I could flee. It spanned to the neighbor’s forked metal fence, whose sharp black tines
Guernica Magazine9 min read
Stewart Sinclair: Moving Objects, Moving People
Stewart Lawrence Sinclair, author of Juggling, imagines what’s possible when we make room for things that don’t necessarily have a point.
Guernica Magazine2 min readWorld
Before and After
In our last issue of the year, we share work that explores a moment of change — an often unarticulated, sometimes unnoticed moment where our worlds, individual and collective, seem to cleave. To do so, April Zhu and Theo Aalders must complicate nonfi
Guernica Magazine2 min readWorld
Art as Activism
When the Israeli bombardment of Gaza began, Faisal Saleh reached out to US museums, interested in whether they would make statements in solidarity with artists from Gaza. “The museums told me they focus on programming,” Saleh told me by telephone. “S
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