Some of today's most imaginative writers consider what it means to be made and fashioned by others.
It is rare now for people to stay where they were raised, and when we encounter one another—whether in person or, increasingly, online—it is usually in contexts that obscure if not outright hide details about our past. But even in moments of pure self-invention, we are always shaped by the past. In Ancestors, some of today's most imaginative writers consider what it means to be made and fashioned by others. Are we shaped by grandparents, family, the deep past, political forebears, inherited social and economic circumstances? Can we choose our family, or is blood always thicker? And looking forward, what will it mean to be ancestors ourselves, and how will our descendants remember us?
Alexis Pauline Gumbs is the author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity, M Archive: After the End of the World, Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals, and Dub: Finding Ceremony and the coeditor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. She is Provost of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind in Durham, North Carolina, and cofounder of the Black Feminist Bookmobile, Black Feminist Film School, and the Mobile Homecoming Trust Living Library and Archive of Queer Black Brilliance.
Ed Pavlić is the author of Live at the Bitter End; Who Can Afford to Improvise? James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listener; Let's Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno; and other books. He is Distinguished Research Professor in the English Department and in the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Georgia and a Boston Review Arts Contributing Editor.
Ivelisse Rodriguez's short story collection, Love War Stories, was a 2019 PEN/Faulkner finalist and a 2018 Foreword Reviews INDIES finalist. She is founder and editor of an interview series published in Centro Voices, the e-magazine of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. She is a Boston Review Arts Contributing Editor.