foreword hen one sets about doing harm, the people most likely to be hurt are the ones across the table, if only by reason of proximity. Look up quotes on the word "family," and much of what comes up is either sarcastic or humorous. Hamlet's stepfather says to him, "My cousin Hamlet, and my son," and the young prince responds, "A little more than kin, and less than kind," with both "kin" and "kind" carrying multiple levels of dark irony. This is the norm even when your stepfather/uncle didn't murder your father and marry your mother. Bring up the issue of relatives, and mockery soon follows. "I had no blood relatives until I made some," says comedian Andy Dick. And yet of course the other feelings continue to survive alongside the sarcasm--the fondness, love and hope that we associate with both our relatives and our origins. This issue is about both sides of the coin of family. Our Jeffrey E. Smith winner in fiction is Yuko Sakata's "Unintended," a story that shows the effects of parents' problems on a child. The protagonist, Shinji, has recently separated from his wife and, needing a place to stay, goes to live
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: May 3, 2012
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