Featuring: Elvia Wilk, Julian Randall, Paul A. Kramer, Jenny Fran Davis, Randa Jarrar, Mackenzie Weeks, Miki Arndt, Taisia Kitaiskaia, Annette Weisser, Colin Winnette, Carl Phillips, Sylvie Baumgartel, Deborah Paredez, Armen Davoudian
Featured Artists: Ja’tovia Gary, Rosemary Mayer, Reynaldo Rivera
We had planned for a Domestic-themed issue long before there was any sign of a pandemic, when the prospect of millions of people staying inside for six straight months was something beyond impossibility. How strange then to put together an issue dedicated to domesticity in the midst of an enormous realignment of our domestic lives, which have suddenly become our work, social, and recreational lives.
The Domestic has also shifted in the larger sense of the word. We have just endured an exhausting election and the future of our nation is foremost in the news, our conversations, and our collective conscious. Our attention has been rapt by houses outside of our own: our chambers of government, and of course, the White House.
This issue of the LARB Quarterly Journal grapples with Domesticity in all of its forms. In “Queen of Reps”, Elvia Wilk counts her way through quarantine, rethinking her own life and work. Poet Julian Randall remembers when President Obama sang “Amazing Grace” and wonders about the state of Black existence amid the brutal realities of the past year. Paul A. Kramer presents a deep investigation on the history of Los Angeles as a sanctuary city. In her short story, “In Another Life”, Miki Arndt explores the life of a grandmother-for-hire in contemporary Japan.
We hope this issue and these pieces offer a different perspective on domesticity. After a year like 2020, we might all be tired of the same old view.