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Ancestors
Winter 2021
Print: 19.95
Digital: 15.99

Paperback, 226 pages

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?

Contributors: Bennet Bergman, Sam Bett, Tyree Daye, Diamond Forde, Duana Fullwiley, José B. González, Racquel Goodison, Terrance Hayes, Day Heisinger-Nixon, Tyehimba Jess, Christina Knight, Emily Lordi, Vuyelwa Maluleke, Reginald McKnight, Cheswayo Mphanza, Achal Prabhala, Domenica Ruta, Metta Sáma, Sonia Sanchez, Izumi Suzuki, Deborah Taffa, Kyoko Uchida, Ocean Vuong, Binyavanga Wainaina, Yeoh Jo-Ann, and Felicia Zamora.

Guest edited by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ed Pavlić, and Ivelisse Rodriguez.

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Boston Review is a political and literary forum—a public space for collective reasoning and imagination of a more just world.

Subscribe to our newsletters to get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive editorial content (plus 10% off  our entire store).