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PUBLISHED: February 13, 2021

In an effort to better acquaint you, the reader, with the VQR staff, members of our team will share excerpts from our personal reading—The Best 200 Words I Read All Week. From fact to fiction, from comedic to tragic, we hope you find as much to admire in these selections as we do. 


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Williamson felt that my novel […] emerges from the experience of exile: “in this case, the physical displacement and inward migration of Indigenous Australians since European arrival in 1788.”

An inward migration can also be thought of as closing one’s country […] sealing off the home place in the mind from others […] we go back to country in thoughts and in dreams. We return to talk with the spirits about how the deep feelings of culture can be thought through, cared about, and compared with our knowledge of the world. It is where we examine truth…

This inward place is where we work with our own thoughts—our own sovereignty of mind […] and where we keep our own knowledge safe. This is where we fashion, and refashion, and imagine the stories we want told, where we catch the essence of a story before it drifts away, or before it is overrun by the power of those other stories, created by the score in this country, to distract our thinking. In the inward place, we can speak the truth more easily, and often with humor, because of the ease we feel being in the family home of traditional country.

Editorial Intern Ana Garcia
Excerpt from “The Inward Migration in Apocalyptic Times”, by Alexis Wright, in Emergence Magazine


“The son I’ll never have is crossing the lawn. He is lying on an imaginary bed,
the coverlet pulled up over his knees—knees I don’t dare describe.
I recoil from imagining him as meat and bone, as a mind
and hands stroking the fur of his pet rabbit.
I never gave him the accordion I used to play, my mother and I
in duets, “The Minnesota Polka,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,”
never watched him push noodles into his mouth with fingers
while I wished he would use the spoon shiny with disuse.
I am free from longing to be free, I do as I please,
my money is my own, all the mistakes I make are only my mistakes.
What is it to look at something you made and see the future?
What is it to have someone made by your body, but whose mind
remains just out of reach? I’ll never know. Come here, little rabbit.
Eat these greens. I will pet your cloudy fur with the mind’s hand.

Reader Rob Shapiro
Excerpt from “The Son I’ll Never Have”, by Mark Wunderlich, in God of Nothingness


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