SHORT STORIES

The Immigrant's Refrigerator

GenPop. Feb. 2018. 190p. ISBN 9780998512648. pap. $16. F
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A Lambda Literary Award-winning poet, Georgiou portrays immigrants to America, both legal and illegal, in heartfelt, no-nonsense prose. The opening story, "Gazpacho," features a man in a Mexican border town who provides soup for boys heading to America by train ("el tren de la muerte")—or being forced to return. For money, he drives a hearse, frequently repatriating children's bodies from America—257 so far; "each time, …a small country turns to dust inside me." In another piece, white employees at a confectionary find that listening to news about police shootings "with a dark-skinned man—a refugee!—in their midst had made their hands clumsier," and an MFA student from Northern Ireland who works for a gay escort service can't be friends "with anyone who had not known troops standing on the corner of the same road as the house in which they were born." It's indeed brutally hard to imagine that kind of experience, but Georgiou brings it closer.
VERDICT A keen, sobering work; ten percent of profits will go to the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Center.

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