Tony is an original short story from Celine Aenlle-Rochas collection in progress, inspired by her own family history. Each story centers on a different descendent of a creole family from Louisiana and depicts how each members relationship to their Black identity shifts and transforms over time as the family migrates across the United States. In Tony an unnamed family member acts as the family historian. The interplay of the two voices, Tonys and the narrators, reminds us how oral tradition holds a familys legacy together even when physical and spiritual migrations have torn them apart.
Readers might be more familiar with Mark Leidners poetry than with his prose. But the beautiful, bruising hilarity of his poems carries over to his short stories. There arent many books I've recommended more often or more strongly than Leidner's 2018 collection, Under The Sea. The present story, Hanging Out with Dad, tests universality and particularitythe whatness of a father/son relationship and the thisness of a particular father and a particular son. In all of Leidner's work, a reader can draw general insight from closely-rendered moments, which might not necessarily be a balm for our abundant confusion, but will certainly make it more interesting.