The White Review No. 23 features Julia Armfield’s ‘The Great Awake’, the winner of our fifth annual short story prize. Praised by the judges for its ambitious concept, and the skill with which Armfield pulls it off, the story is testament to the continued power of the prize to discover and create a space for new talent. We’re excited to place this story alongside newly translated short fiction by 2018 Man Booker International Prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones), and Nanae Aoyama (translated by Polly Barton).
Also featured in the issue is an interview with Margo Jefferson, conducted by Zinzi Clemmons,which discusses notions of authenticity in regards to race and craft, intersectionality, mental health issues in minority communities, and the figure of the critic. Elsewhere, Evan Moffitt interviews artist Mernet Larsen on horizons and perspective, abstraction, and the influence of the writing of Rachel Cusk on Larsen’s artistic practice, while the writer Annie Ernaux discusses autofiction, gender and the sociogeography of contemporary France with Lauren Elkin.
Kevin Brazil considers what a queer museum might look like — one which recognises selfhood as an invention, and challenges the impulse to contain and tame an identity that is by its nature unfixed. Sandip Kuriakose applies similar thinking to the art and gay scenes in Delhi, two worlds united by the centrality of images, through which identities — and desires — are constructed. In an essay exploring her Palestinian-Chilean ancestry, Lina Meruane asks how faces can reveal, hide or deceive. As she narrates a trip to Beit Jala to visit relatives, she examines the shifting sands of history and memory. We also present poetry by A. K. Blakemore, Imogen Cassels and Rebecca Goss, and a roundtable (the third in our new roundtable series) on class featuring artist and filmmaker Ayo Akingbade, poet and teacher Raymond Antrobus, artist Tess Denman-Cleaver, and author and lecturer Matthew Sperling. Our panel discuss language and status incongruity, universities and class consciousness, narratives of success, diversity, gentrification, the north-south divide, fashion and cultural capital.
Series of artworks are presented by Allison Katz and Bettina Samson. The cover has been specially designed by Allison Katz.