Sara Krolewski

  • Mass Culture

    THE SCHOOLGIRLS HAVE BEGUN TO BEHAVE STRANGELY. At night, they gather to perform incantations that involve crystals and candle wax, delicately dripped. One of them hides sambuca in a mouthwash bottle and slips out for parties after babysitting jobs. Another attempts suicide by smashing a thermometer to drink the mercury within, but only succeeds in cutting herself. The last stops eating altogether, unless she can cadge food off of someone else’s plate.

    What could be wrong? Perhaps there is some dark, supernatural presence at work. We are, after all, in Massachusetts, home of Salem’s doomed

  • fiction January 12, 2021

    Party Going

    Claude McKay’s “lost” novel Romance in Marseille begins where most novels would end: with a twist of fate that brings life to a grinding halt. Lafala, a West African sailor and a man of “shining blue blackness,” is discovered stowing away on a ship traveling from Marseille to New York and detained in an uninsulated bathroom, where he nearly freezes to death. When he comes to, he’s in a New York hospital, legless. Lafala’s first reaction is fear: he has heard that doctors in hospitals sometimes kill Black patients to use as cadavers. This is not merely superstition, but the unremitting condition