Announcing the SHORT, VIGOROUS ROOTS Cover!

This upcoming flash fiction anthology examines the experiences of being a transplant in a foreign land and looks critically at what it means to forsake tongues, traditions, and comforts in the hope of starting a new life in another world. These stories push readers to expand their understanding of the world beyond their own front doors.

This collection contains forty affecting works by several multigenerational immigrant authors from countries around the world, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Cuba, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Moldavia, Morocco, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United States, and Vietnam.

For the cover design, the project team felt that we should try to encompass the intricate stories, vibrant details, and the solemn-yet-hopeful tone that is present in the anthology. There was the obvious visual theme of roots that we’re playing on for the cover, but we chose the design with special care.

The scraggly, pale-yellow, flowering, uprooted plant you see on the cover is a yarrow.

Yarrow is a very special herb with medicinal properties that have been used by humans for thousands of years. Yarrow grows in many locations around the globe, from Asia to Europe to Scandinavia, even Australia and New Zealand. It is ubiquitous. Yarrow has a rich cultural history. In China, it is thought to bring good luck; in North America it has been used for healing burns and soothing colds and headaches; it was even collected by Lewis and Clark during their famous expedition to the Pacific Northwest. This miraculous little plant connects us to thousands of cultures over thousands of years of history—just as migrants have connected cultures for thousands of years.

Yarrow is sometimes considered a weed because it can spread very rapidly and tolerates poor soil. The stories in this manuscript feature people who have learned to adapt rapidly and leave when they need to. They not only tolerated adverse conditions but also managed to carry on their rich traditions.

Each winter yarrow dies, but it quickly springs forth when the seasons change. It is resilient, just as people are resilient. Resilience is the prevailing theme throughout this collection, which is why our fellow Oolies chose the yarrow to be featured on the cover.

We also wanted this to be a typography-based cover, so we spent quite a bit of time playing around with a typeset that would fit well with the plant design. The color palette was another consideration. We decided to go with earthy tones that could be balanced with a light pastel color that is representative of the physical land and seas that were crossed in order for these stories to be possible.

We hope you like the sneak peek. Keep your eyes open for more news on Short, Vigorous Roots, coming February 2022.

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