Zoetrope: All-Story
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Spring 2021

Vol. 25 No. 1

Guest Designer Jeffrey Gibson

Notes on Design

Jeffrey Gibson

In my practice, I have strived to celebrate and uplift Indigenous cultures and allow the complexities of history to merge into new combinations that reconsider narratives, propose counter-narratives, and push against antiquated notions of identity. As I’ve been able to spend more time in my studio during the pandemic, I began looking at older bodies of work and considering them within the context of the current social and political upheaval.


For the design of this issue of Zoetrope: All-Story, I opened up my studio’s . . .

A Common Predicament

Steven Millhauser

She’s the one, the only one for me, after all these years I’ve finally found her, so why should I allow a little habit of hers to destroy my happiness? Isn’t it better to look on the bright side? We’re perfect for each other in almost every way. What difference does it make, all things considered? Does it really matter, in the long run? At first, I thought her behavior was a temporary oddity, a sign of preoccupation, probably nothing more than a fit of absentmindedness, or say a nervous habit, one of those accidents that can easily happen when two . . .

Sentence

Tommy Orange

See him here in his hospital bed that is not his bed but he is rotting in it his liver his cancer he’s known but it wasn’t in his liver before hadn’t metastasized hadn’t spread as they say just as he hadn’t spread the news had kept it in had not wanted to be pitied or to bum people out had wanted to live until he died not wade through the dying just run like his mouth at the mic his glossolaliac tongue a stream he could always talk and keep running his mind through it at everyone at powwows the premier powwow emcee running his mouth was his . . .

Plantation Boulevard

Sefi Atta

Auntie Angie and I arrived in Middleton, Mississippi, at about 6 p.m. that October of 2017. We had been traveling for almost twenty-four hours, and I was surprised the airport was so small. If the international one in Abuja where we’d started our journey was a house, the regional one where we landed was a garage. It didn’t even have a carousel. A handler threw our luggage through a roll-up door. Auntie Angie’s brother-in-law, Dr. Daniel, met us there. He wasn’t bad-looking for a man in his late thirties. His head was shaved, and his beard trimmed. I . . .

The Test

David Bezmozgis

Maybe you met through an app. Maybe you liked one of his photos, or he liked one of yours. The one at the gym. The one by the lake. The one with the dog. In a group with boisterous, assorted others, to indicate the bright fulsomeness of your life. Or in an exotic locale: beside a camel, astride an elephant, amid penguins.


Maybe you were introduced through friends. Because you should really really meet.


Maybe you knew one another before, when this wasn’t possible, and the memory of the other, like a dormant, . . .

Meet Me at the Edge

Deborah Forbes

“Meet Me at the Edge” was awarded first prize in the 2020 Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Competition, as judged by Téa Obreht.

In the hospital, Eleanor’s body loses its boundaries. A sliver of white sheet, crisp as paper. Shine of peripheral metal, shine of significance lost on her. Light without meaning or shadow. Tell me it is night and I will believe you. Tell me it is morning and I will believe you. This sheet has not been laundered properly. It tastes of chemicals. Her mother showed her ho . . .

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