New beginnings can be exciting, fun, and an opportunity to start afresh. They can also be frightening, unfamiliar, and isolating. In keeping with this month’s theme of firsts, Molly Antopol’s new collection of short stories, The UnAmericans, explores these ideas of new beginnings, fresh starts, and first homes never forgotten. Through the eyes of a variety of characters who have migrated from their homes, but who remain ‘alien’ to the societies in which they end up, Antopol gives us an insight into what it means to be the minority. In “My Grandmother Tells Me This Story”, the reader is spoken to as if they are the grandchild of the narrator, and we are related the tale of how she escaped Belarus and ended up the States. The opening passage, in which the Grandmother crawls overnight through a sewer only to emerge in a village unknown, symbolises rebirth: the beginning of something new, even if not familiar. We will leave you to discover the rest of the story for yourself!
This story appears in ‘The UnAmericans’ by Molly Antopol, published this month
Introduction by Tanera Simons
Subscribe to the 4th Estate podcast
To find out more about our books, events and competitions, sign up to our newsletter