Winter 2020

The essays in our Winter issue showcase writers displaying a fundamental talent—that of deep, lucid inquiry into widely shared experiences. Julia Cooke offers a kind of close reading of the birth narrative—its power and its politics; Pamela Erens mines fresh critical insight from the novels of literary phenomenon Elena Ferrante; Simon Han, meanwhile, tests a new metaphor—that of sleepwalking—for the experience of living through 2020; and in the final installment of his borderlands trilogy, Francisco Cantú explores the origins and cultural power of Tejano-music titan Selena. Other features include a story, reported in collaboration with the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), on the growing popularity of homesteading in the age of the pandemic; photographer Brian Palmer’s sublimely rendered visual documentary of forgotten African American burial grounds; and fiction and poetry that forgo convention for more adventurous constructions of interior life. (Cover Art: Hudson Christie)

Winter 2020

Volume 96, Number 4

Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 2020 cover
Print: $14.00
Digital download: $14.00

Table of contents

Reporting 
Essays 
Criticism 
Photography 
Fiction 
Poetry 
#VQRTrueStory 
On Becoming 
Fine Distinctions 
Editor's Desk 
Mapping 

Contributor Profiles

Beth Bachmann is the author of three books, all published by the University of Pittsburgh Press: Temper (2009), Do Not Rise (2015), and CEASE (2018). A recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in Poetry and VQR’s

Sarah Blackman is the Director of Creative Writing at the Fine Arts Center, an arts-magnet high school in Greenville, South Carolina.

Irène Mathieu is a pediatrician and writer, and the author of milk tongue (Deep Vellum, 2023), Grand Marronage (Switchback, 2019), orogeny (Trembling Pillow, 2017), and the galaxy of origins (danc

Brian Palmer is a Richmond, VA-based journalist. With colleagues Seth Freed Wessler and Esther Kaplan, he received the Peabody Award for “Monumental Lies,” a 2018 Reveal radio story about public funding for Confederate sites.

Armando Veve is an illustrator working in Philadelphia. His drawings have been recognized by American Illustration, Communication Arts, and Spectrum, and awarded gold medals from the Society of Illustrators.

Spring 2024 Cover; Photo by Mathias Depardon
Spring 2024
Volume 100, Number 1
Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring/Summer 2023 cover
Spring/Summer 2023
Volume 99, Number 1
Virginia Quarterly Review, Autumn 2023 cover
Fall 2023
Volume 99, Number 3
Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 2023 cover
Winter 2023
Volume 99, Number 4