Notes on the Fiction Selections

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June 22, 2022 by The Citron Review

The fiction team has selected some wonderful work for the summer issue.

“The Romantic Maneuvers of a Tilting Earth” by Tommy Dean spirals inwards from details of the present and what life has been to where life began for a family struggling through loss and abandonment. The reflective sentences built upon one another creating tension until the final reveal — and that is what we loved about this piece.

In “Lost and Found” Jenny Darmody employs the passage of time to weave into the piece a woman mourning her past with her husband and the reluctance to accept the current state of their marriage. It is both captivating and heartbreaking.

“Crow Dreams” by Doug Ramspeck frames a supernatural collision of three moments and the ghosts that haunt the narrator. Ramspeck’s writing has a cinematic scope. Each scene links to the next as the narrator comes to terms with real relationships and ones longed for.

In “Belladonna” John Salter tells a coming-of-age story that begins like a classic high school movie. The “It” girl captivates everyone but never allows herself to be caught. Great lengths are gone to, in order to win her heart. Will heartbreak follow? Salter refreshes the tale with imaginative diction and incredible human sensitivity.

Conflict is central to Emily Hoover’s “Sinners to the Back of the House.” Hoover maps out the struggle between a daughter who makes the same mistakes as her mother and the complications that arise between them as they both realize how similar they are. Hoover’s utilization of religious allusions and the narrator’s fully-realized voice sets this among some of the best we have published.

In Catherine Chiarella Domonkos’ “For Sissies Who Cry,” we are ushered into a world of sensory overload. Caught between hospice and hallucination, one family makes its way through a fantasy world grounded by the reality of time running out. Cotton candy might just trigger all the feels.

And finally, our last piece for summer is “Snake. Taos New Mexico” by Kathryn Silver-Hajo. Silver-Hajo tells of a woman who flees abuse with a child she wishes to protect only for him to witness the cruelty of the world in another form. She exposes that vulnerable moment with such empathy and truth that instantly, we knew we wanted to include it in this issue.


Elizabeth De Arcos
Senior Fiction Editor
The Citron Review


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