Founded in 1957 by Barney Rosset, the original Evergreen Review started as a printed magazine. It published writing that launched an assault on American propriety: literary, sexual, and social. Rosset featured in the pages of Evergreen some of the finest writing available, by writers whose influence continues to shape contemporary literature, such as Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre, Mark Schorer, William S. Burroughs, Henry Miller, Susan Sontag, Marguerite Duras and James Purdy. Since its founding days, it has been well known for its radical commitment to free expression as well as for being devoted to an international array of authors and work. The magazine has always maintained a genre bending visual aesthetic that is often shocking, always intriguing.
Now, in the 21st century, we aspire to build on Rosset’s legacy of publishing daring work that interrogates identity through a variety of avant-garde literary forms. We look for stories that aren’t being told or voices that aren’t being heard: narratives that challenge our sensibilities and expand our understanding of the way people actually live in the world, and the way their truths can be expressed. By featuring a vibrant mélange of national and international authors, we hope to provide a richly fabricated collage that portrays the current state of the world. We limit the size of each issue to anywhere between eight and twelve pieces, all accompanied by carefully curated visuals. More specifically, we’ve used photojournalism, but fiction and poetry are accompanied by the work of individual artists. The artwork is intended as an amplification of the respective story/essay/poem, rather than illustration.
We are living in a world were we are witnessing a fracture of political entities around the globe; some along old lines (religion, race, tribe) some new (gender and sexual identity, access to modern technology, be it cell phones and the internet or affordable medical care, including abortion). The 20th century taught us how to talk about ourselves, but apparently at the expense of talking to each other. We, the Evergreen team, want to find and publish work rooted in that desire; not to broadcast ourselves, but to communicate political and existential realities to people outside our community or social media bubble.
At the new Evergreen, we are committed to blurring our individual sense of space and community, to stretching the boundaries of how we engage in conversation. We strive to achieve this by publishing writing in translation (Ghalib, Zhai Yanjun, Antoine Volodine) as well as writers who work in English as a second language (José Garcia Escobar, Octavio Solis). To date, nearly a third of the works we have published are by authors whose primary language is not English.
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