I enjoy reading fantasy. I like to be transported into other worlds, and I like stories with adventure and magic. I like experiencing other people’s lives in fiction, living through the characters a life I can never experience myself. It is a rare occasion when I pick up a novel that lacks some kind of fantastical element. However, I think I sometimes forget that the ordinary can be just as impactful and extraordinary as fantasy.
“More Stories About Restaurants,” found in Artful Dodge 14/15, is a collection of vignettes describing the life of someone who works in a restaurant, and it reminded me that there is magic in “ordinary” fiction. It is simple, raw, and honest, and it almost made me cry. I felt so desperately for the narrator, her struggles with her life’s direction, her desire to be included, the small community she formed at the restaurant. This is a story that celebrates the hardships of ordinary life and presents those hardships in a way that is honest and heavy with emotion. It is truly authentic. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Artful Dodge 14/15 and giving this story a chance. It is not long, but it conveys so much in just a few pages. As someone who reads almost exclusively fantasy, trust me when I tell you that this unique story has its own kind of magic.
—Megan Murphy, Assistant Editor