literary suburbia

The Puritan is now accepting submissions for its “Literary Suburbia” supplement

The Puritan is calling for submissions to a special supplement to its Winter Issue, “Literary Suburbia.”

Sprawling and monotonous, housing melancholic households with hidden dysfunctions—the suburbs, as they are often depicted in literature, are sinister places, dangerous precisely because of their seeming innocence. In the works of writers like Richard Yates, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, and Tom Perrotta, the placid veneer of everyday life disguises some rotting underneath; the abnormalities, tragedies, and illicit activities of its citizenry. For those who have lived in the suburbs, the suburban literary tradition is often ambiguous. Representations of suburbia that emphasize malaise can validate the banality of living in the suburbs, but such representations can also fail to capture the broader range of experiences that make up suburbia. In our contemporary context, the suburbs are not always uniform spaces. The suburbs are full of nuances and complexities, many of which are inherent to living in a liminal space—not urban, not rural, but somewhere in between.

The suburbs are often represented as being at a remove from social and political movements. In reality, the suburbs have always been politicized, and racialized, spaces—something that has been dealt with by suburban literature to varying degrees of success. The representation of suburban spaces as idyllic or sheltered places exists within a larger context, extending beyond the minutiae of domestic life and speaking directly to the means by which racial, political, and economic identities are formulated.

The “Literary Suburbia” supplement aims to publish work from a diverse range of perspectives—including those that challenge traditional renderings of the suburbs that fail to capture alternative economic and ethnic realities. Many of these traditional representations perpetuate the idea of the stereotypical white, middle-class suburb. In this supplement, we want to hear from writers whose perspectives represent the reality of heterogeneous suburban environments.

The deadline for submissions is December 31st, 2017. Submissions should be sent to or to the Literary Suburbia form on our Submittable.

Leave a Reply