You hold in your hands (or on your screens) the fourth and final issue of khōréō’s first year! It’s been an incredible journey so far, and we’re thrilled to have shared it with you.
During our first submission cycle back in October 2020, we noticed a theme coming up repeatedly in the stories we read: food. Soup and noodles, bread and fruit, hunger and fulfillment graced so many pages in a myriad of ways. Food is such a prominent part of the diaspora experience that it’s even two squares on Jiaqi Kang’s Diaspora Writing Bingo. It felt natural to decide, then and there, that we would center our first themed issue around food and announce it along with our first Kickstarter campaign.
As readers and editors, we brought our own experiences—learning to make pierogi for Christmas Eve dinner; trying to find the recipe for a favorite childhood dish without resorting to Google Translate; cracking pistachios from communal bowls at family gatherings—to the table, making the process of selecting and editing the stories for this issue an unforgettable experience of both recognition and learning. We’re so lucky to have been put in a position of making many difficult decisions in each and every submission period this year, and we hope that the stories that we’ve selected for this issue will delight you as much as they enchanted us.
In these pages, you’ll find families with a food rivalry deep enough to upstage the Montagues and the Capulets from Eugenia Triantafyllou; an inheritance that takes multiple forms from Lily Raphaela Philpott; unusual love potions from Malavika Praseed; a review for a mysterious restaurant in St. Mark’s from J.L. Akagi; and potatoes cooked throughout galaxies with a little bit of magic from Aun-Juli Riddle. We also have not one but two fantastic essays: a reprint of Aliette de Bodard’s “Some Thoughts on Cuisine and Culture” and an original essay by C.H. Hung, whom many of you may recognize from our first issue.
We’re also thrilled to announce that we’ve hired Elaine Ho as our art director; we’re looking forward to her vision for this magazine! We’ll also be looking for volunteers for a few more positions in the next month or so: fiction editors, a non-fiction editor, and first readers.
Finally, our next Kickstarter will be up and running at the beginning of 2022. We’re so grateful for everyone’s generous support of our first year and hope that, even if you’re not able to donate this year, you’d be willing to lend us your likes and shares. As ever, khōréō wouldn’t exist without your generosity as readers, writers, and donors, and we can’t wait to bring you Volume 2!
Alexandra Hill, Rowan Morrison, Lian Xia Rose, and Dev Agarwal
Editors, khōréō magazine