Over a century ago, Rilke went to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, where he watched a pair of flamingos. A flock of other birds screeched by, and, as he describes in a poem, the great red-pink birds sauntered on, unphased, then “stretched amazed and singly march into the imaginary.” This encounter—so strange, so typical of flamingos, with their fabulous posture—is also still typical of how we interact with animals. Even as our actions threaten their very survival, they are still symbolic, captivating and captive, caught in a drama of our framing
This issue of Freeman’s tells the story of that interaction, its costs, its tendernesses, the mythological flex of it. From lovers in a Chiara Barzini story, falling apart as a group of wild boars roams in their Roman neighborhood, to the soppen emergency birth of a cow on a Wales farm, stunningly described by Cynan Jones, no one has the moral high ground here. Nor is this a piece of mourning. There’s wonder, humor, rage, and relief, too.
Featuring pigeons, calves, stray dogs, mascots, stolen cats, and bears, to the captive, tortured animals who make up our food supply, powerfully described in Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk’s essay, this wide-ranging issue of Freeman’s will stimulate discussion and dreams alike.
Praise for Freeman’s:
“There’s an illustrious new literary journal in town . . . [with] fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by new voices and literary heavyweights . . . alike.”—Vogue.com
“A terrific anthology . . . Sure to become a classic in years to come.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Freeman draws from a global cache of talent . . . An expansive reading experience.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Looking at what John [Freeman] has put together in [his] first edition, I’m struck by how many names I don’t know and how diverse and global it is. My only disappointment is that it’s going to be twice a year—I think we need it four times a year.”—James Wood, Radio Boston
“Illuminating . . . Perfect reading for our ever-accelerating times.”—NPR’s Book Concierge
“Freeman’s is fresh, provocative, engrossing.”—BBC.com
“A first-rate anthology of bold, searching and personal writing by emerging and established writers.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“From the abstract to the literal, there is no shortage of provocative, thoughtful pieces here.”—Publishers Weekly
“Freeman’s sets a new standard for literary journals . . . It’s refreshing and full of nuanced stories that will linger with you long after you finish them.”—Chicago Literati
“[An] infinitely relatable and beautifully crafted prose and poetry anthology . . . Freeman has assembled a thoughtful and profoundly accessible collection of work that connects our vulnerabilities, our expectations and our hopes.”—Newcity Lit
“[A] thrillingly unique collection of voices.”—Toronto Star