Volume 98, Number 1
VQR’s Spring issue tends to coincide with a buoyant season. But just as the most recent surge of the coronavirus pandemic has ebbed, war has broken out in Europe. Anxieties are piling up, and yet people seem determined to step stubbornly into some semblance of an outdated normalcy. If anything, this spring is a conflicted and bittersweet season. The work herein—including Claire Rosen’s unforgettable cover image—embraces that tension. It’s a tension that animates Ellyn Gaydos’s feature essay on love, death, and life on a New York pig farm, where the brutal and the sublime intertwine daily. Conflicting sentiments run through other works: cruelty and tenderness in a boyhood memoir by Joseph Earl Thomas; Miranda Featherstone’s essayistic reflection on commitment in the face of agonizing losses; Ara Oshagan’s photo portfolio on disconnect and ritual among the Armenian diaspora; and a suite of fiction—by Karin Lin-Greenberg, Evgeniya Dame, and Gothataone Moeng—featuring familiar pasts fast dissolving into uncertain futures.