We’ll Never Have Paris #13: The West Coast Stories
Andria Alefhi, Editor
We’ll Never Have Paris
Hot on the heels of their New York Stories (highly recommended!!) comes issue #13 of this excellent pocket-sized lit journal. For this issue, the staff have wisely decided to offer up a sister to #12, offering up a West Coast theme. It’s an interesting move, as once again, this little ‘zine has offered up seven choice short personal narratives that are worth every penny of the cover price.
The stories here are eclectic, occasionally touched with melancholy, and often a dose of magic that lingers on after you’ve read it. The stories offered are an interesting variety, including the humorous tale of a fellow who unintentionally became a “car dude” due to an unlikely used car purchase, the story of a rock and roll star who never knew he had a loving following, and the tale of what happens when one unintentionally and unknowingly moves an endangered species one step closer to extinction. These stories are witty yet intelligent, the work of creative minds at their best.
Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty’s essay, “They Shoot Cynics, Don’t They,” is the best of the lot, and surprising in its epiphany. It’s the introspective observation of an East Coast African American woman, who visits Los Angeles for a convention, expecting to encounter the hassles and the oppression and the micro aggressions of New York City, only to be shocked when they don’t happen—and that maybe, just maybe, it has made her worse off as a result. She initially comes across with a major chip on her shoulder, but the realization that what she was expecting is not happening to her is quite moving. It’s a sign of real maturity to recognize that the person with the problem might just be you, and it’s that quiet learning of lesson that makes it one of the best short stories I’ve read.
I’ve quickly become a fan of this little lit-journal, and if you take a little time and check it out, you’ll understand why—these stories show that in the age of overwhelming data and too much text, there are still those who value quality story writing and narrative tales. I can’t wait for the next issue!
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