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Auspicious OA Debuts 2021

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In addition to revivals of historic works and first-time publications, we’re honored to introduce a vibrant range of writers to the Oxford American this year. Here, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite pieces by contributors whose work appeared in the magazine for the first time in 2021.

Spring 2021

Ashanté M. Reese, Tarry with Me

“Building relationships with the dead is not only a practice of technical skill but a spiritual one.”

Brad Johnson, Peasant Food

“Much like a carefully choreographed Broadway play, for a restaurant to resonate, the moon and stars need to align.”

Summer 2021

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, La Cancion de la Nena

“Not only did he have the looks, the sex appeal, and an ineffable cool, he was absolutely sick with natural talent.”

Neesha Powell-Twagirumukiza, Water is Life

“The more I learned about the Gullah Geechee culture from various sources, the more I suspected it applied to my maternal family, who’ve been rooted on the Georgia coast in Chatham, Liberty, and McIntosh counties for as long as we can remember.”

Indya S. Finch, Walls

“When people tell you that they love what you have made, they are thanking you for the things you’ve shed.”

Fall 2021

Mary Kay McBrayer, Dollhouse of Horrors

“People are dying while I craft this dollhouse, is what I think. It’s saccharine, and so the next room will be saccharine.”

Allison Light, The Faithful

“Maybe their husbands had also coughed up deathbed confessions that took root in their guts and spread until they wrapped around their brains. Maybe they too were afraid of dying wrong.”

Winter 2021

Lynell George, I Love the Way it Sounds

“Many of my elder relatives and their friends—and friends of friends—had moved heaven and earth to get here—to Los Angeles—yet spent so much time attempting to replicate some sense of where they’d left.”

Tarisai Ngangura, Carolyn’s Alchemy

“They also hear pockets of how Carolyn wanted to be loved, delivered by someone whose voice, at its best, could come close to resurrecting what was once dead.”

Oxford American

From the editors of the Oxford American.