The Fall 2017 issue of the Oxford American is on newsstands nationwide today.
The Oxford American continues its twenty-fifth anniversary celebration with the magazine’s 98th issue, which includes the final installment in a series of excerpts from Jesmyn Ward’s new novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing (also out today, from Scribner). The cover features Leo Touchet’s photograph of a New Orleans jazz funeral in 1969.
Reflection on Southern history is a recurring theme in many stories in the fall issue. “It is an ongoing project,” editor Eliza Borné writes in her introduction, “reckoning with our past, making the South a better place to live and dream and learn and work.” In an essay about the removal of the Confederate monuments in New Orleans, Jeanie Riess speaks with mayor Mitch Landrieu, her childhood soccer coach, and shares a personal story of her hometown. In Mississippi, Katie Gilbert follows the mayoral candidacy of activist Antar Chokwe Lumumba in Jackson, where she reports on the neglected state capital and meets a group of radicals who moved there to make change. Meanwhile, as Little Rock, Arkansas, prepares to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School, “the place where the integration narrative achieved its most evocative display,” alumnus Frederick McKindra writes a powerful essay about black selfhood, black joy, and how the heroic legacy of the Little Rock Nine helped form his identity as he grew up in its wake.
Music is also a recurrent subject: Jonathan Bernstein pays tribute to the Soul Clan, an overlooked supergroup. Michael Collins visits Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa’s favorite jazz club. Halfway around the world, a trumpet player and drummers lead a Nigerian funeral procession before Osayi Endolyn buries her father. And OA contributing editor David Ramsey mourns his wife’s father and considers family bonds and the music of Gary Stewart.
Other highlights from the issue: Danielle Chapman’s lyrical sketches of rural Tennessee; Noah Gallagher Shannon journeys to Cormac McCarthy’s Knoxville; new poems from Rose McLarney (“American Persimmon”), Kaveh Akbar (“Astrology”), Bob Hicok (“The Return”), Jenny Browne (“Luck”), and Jacob Shores-Argüello (“Ghost Story”); short short fiction by Amina Gautier and a sweeping, cinematic story set in Puerto Rico by Kevin A. González; and much more.
In addition to exceptional writing, the issue features works by twenty artists, including Toyin Ojih Odutola, Farrah Karapetian, Mauro C. Martinez, Marlo Pascual, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Huger Foote, and Rett Peek’s images of Jackson.