Featuring new work by David Mitchell, Margaret Atwood, Édouard Louis, Aminatta Forna, Julia Alvarez, and more, the fifth Freeman’s explores one of the most important issues of our time.
From the voices of protestors to the encroachment of a new fascism, everywhere we look, power is revealed. Spouse to spouse, soldier to citizen, looker to gazed upon, power is never static: it is either demonstrated or deployed. Its hoarding is itself a demonstration. This thought-provoking issue of the acclaimed literary annual Freeman’s explores who gets to say what matters in a time of social upheaval.
Many of the writers are women. Margaret Atwood posits it is time to update the gender of werewolf narratives. Aminatta Forna shatters the silences which supposedly ensured her safety as a woman of color walking in public spaces. Power must often be seized. The narrator of Lan Samantha Chang’s short story finally wrenches control of the family’s finances from her husband only to make a fatal mistake. Meanwhile the hero of Tahmima Anam’s story achieves freedom by selling bull semen. Australian novelist Josephine Rowe recalls a gallery attendee trying to take what was not offered when she worked as a life-drawing model. Violence often results from power imbalances— Booker Prize winner Ben Okri watches power stripped from the residents of Grenfell Tower by ferocious neglect. But not all power must wreak damage. Barry Lopez remembers fourteen glimpses of power, from the moment he hitched a ride on a cargo plane in Korea to the glare he received from a bear traveling with her cubs in the woods, asking—do you plan me harm?
Featuring work from brand new writers Nicole Im, Jaime Cortez, and Nimmi Gowrinathan, as well as from some of the world’s best storytellers, including US poet laureate Tracy K. Smith, Franco-Moroccan writer Leïla Slimani, and Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, Freeman’s: Power escapes from the headlines of today and burrows into the heart of the issue.
John Freeman was the editor of Granta until 2013. His books include How to Read a Novelist, Tales of Two Cities, Tales of Two Americas, and Maps, his debut collection of poems. He is executive editor at the Literary Hub and teaches at the New School and New York University. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and the Paris Review and has been translated into twenty languages
Dr. Nimmi Gowrinathan is a Professor and the Founder of the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative at The City College of New York, which examines the impact of rape on women's political identities. She teaches and directs the Beyond Identity program, which trains immigrant women to be activist-scholars, through a focus on identity-driven research and political writing. Her writing and work can be found at www.deviarchy.com.
Nicole Im is a recent graduate of the New School’s MFA program and is currently writing a memoir about her experiences with kink and Seventh-day Adventism. She is a banjo-picking Red Vines addict and friend to all dogs.
Aleksandar Hemon was born in 1964, in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He came to the US as part of a month long cultural exchange program of journalists but was granted political asylum when Sarajevo came under siege. Hemon is the author of The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, The Lazarus Project, Love and Obstacles, The Making of Zombie Wars and a collection of auto-biographical essays, The Book of My Lives. He is working on his next novel, tentatively titled The World and All That It Holds, as well as four works of nonfiction, How Did You Get Here?: Tales of Displacement (oral histories), My Parents: An Introduction (memoir, May 2019), This Does Not Belong to You (memoir, May 2019) and Behind the Glass Wall, all forthcoming from FSG. How Did You Get Here? was the recipient a PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History in 2017.
Deborah Landau is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently The Uses of the Body. She directs the Creative Writing Program at New York University. Her fourth book, Soft Targets, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2019.