November 2, 2017
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Fall 2017 Fiction Issue
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After a spring fiction issue that strictly focused on writers in Southern California, the TASTE editors and I elected to concentrate on New York–area writers and settings for this, our second edition of food fiction. Because New York is one of the top eating destinations in the world, we expected its writers would be up to the task and we’d receive an array of fiction as diverse and memorable as any square mile of restaurants in the city.

Indeed, from Helen Phillips’s hypnotic “Wedding Stairs” to James Yeh’s hilarious “Mools,” the stories in this issue cover an amazing range, from futuristic satire to restaurant realism. There are characters as memorable as the ill-fated feline acquired to clear a kitchen of rats in N. West Moss’s “Lucky Cat.” There’s Esmé Weijun Wang’s gorgeous, visceral descriptions in “A Kind of Hunger.” “It wasn’t cannibalism, not technically,” Lincoln Michel writes at the beginning of “Future Snacks,” and we’ll join him in leaving the reader to judge. Finally, despite our self-directed geographic imperative, we had to break our own rules when we read Kentucky writer Pam Brinegar’s comical account of one mother’s disastrously failed dishes.

For our third fiction issue next spring, we’ll be looking for even more diverse, beautiful, and unsettling food stories from across the country. Wherever you cook, garden, serve, hunt, fish, or forage, we’re looking forward to reading your work, and until then, I hope you enjoy these six (mostly) New York stories. —J. Ryan Stradal, TASTE Fiction Editor

Illustration by George Wylesol

Future Snacks

Fiction

Future Snacks

In a dystopian universe, if you were hungry and bored enough, maybe you would consider snacking on the pickled toes of your best friends.

The Pie, Reprised

Fiction

The Pie, Reprised

In this short piece of fiction, a mother specializes in pie crusts made out of confectioners’ sugar and memorably super-sized batches of Cheez Whiz.

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