Over at The GOAT PoL, our eight Reader/Advisor/Editors (RAEs) are working with scores of stateless, refugee, and disenfranchised writers, publishing one or two dozen of their new stories every week. With hundreds of stories already published, The GOAT PoL map is crowded with remarkable writing, like a bookstore or a library to which a couple dozen new volumes are added every week. These stories don’t get old.
To give readers an easy road in, every two weeks we’ll publish four new “Staff Picks from The GOAT PoL.” Individual RAEs each select a story that they especially love and write a brief “staff pick,” directing your attention to an interesting author’s work. If you like what you find, click the writer’s name on the story byline, to see what you can do next. Thanks! Here are four new Staff Picks from The GOAT PoL:
Audrey Simango’s pick: Dhinda the Bus
By Nolleen Mhonda
A vivid, magical story that gives readers insight into the hopes and habits of a rural Zimbabwean. Mhonda’s lively vocabulary and worry-drenched diction—while spending hours waiting for the eponymous “Dhinda” (“the people’s favorite, celebrated for its reliable brakes”)—hold up a mirror to an inward-turned society, where deadly traffic accidents are as commonplace as birthday parties. Mhonda show us the little things that hold sentimentality for the people who ride the bus.
Kate Vieira’s pick: The Power of Love over Conflict
By Patrick Bwira Baeni
In beautifully rendered detail, Patrick Bwira Baeni gives a moving personal take on the theme of love for one’s neighbour, in the context of a brutal ethnic conflict. In the story, Baeni shows us that it is the forces of violence that are the aberrations in life, and that human beings want to act out of love and live in peace.
Parwana Amiri’s pick: That one night that ruined my life
By Apio Irene
Based on a true story, this lucidly written account tells the story of a young girl who becomes the prey of a boy and is made pregnant by him. The story is especially interesting for young people exposed to the danger of relationships that begin from social media. In clear, direct prose free of sentimentality, Apio Irene speaks to people in all communities and teaches us about social injustice in the world of intimate relationships.
Alison Turner’s pick: Married but a Child
By Zulaika Sulaiman
This story brings us into the heart, mind, and situation of a twelve-year old girl whose life is changed overnight. Ushered by her family through the traditions of her culture in rural Uganda, this storyteller shares the confusion, loneliness, and terror that follows her first menstruation. Originally written in French (with the original text included, preceding the English translation), the story is beautifully translated by Moseka Phiona, one of The GOAT PoL’s most prolific and passionate authors.