We were the fun family. All the kids wanted to play at our house. Working class and artist poor, we always found room for guests. Most weekends, using battered equipment, we hiked, camped, swam, or cross-country skied. We shared library books, made up plays, and sang in choirs and around the campfire. Every evening, we cooked as a team and shared sit-down meals. No matter how young, everyone talked about their day or discussed some current event.
Yet beginning in grade school, my inner refrain was I want to die. It was true I had what others envied, a family where kids were cherished and listened to. Yet beneath that lurked the shadow family I tried to heal on my own.
Read the rest of Kirie’s story Shadow Family in New Orleans Review.
About New Orleans Review
A journal of contemporary literature and culture, New Orleans Review is a publication of the Department of English at Loyola University New Orleans, and is partially funded by the Kendall Michelle Daigle Memorial Endowment for English.
Since its founding in 1968, the journal has published an eclectic variety of work by established and emerging writers, including: Walker Percy, Pablo Neruda, Ellen Gilchrist, Nelson Algren, Hunter S. Thompson, John Kennedy Toole, Richard Brautigan, Joyce Carol Oates, Tess Gallagher, Sherman Alexie, Annie Dillard, Gordon Lish, Ernest J. Gaines, William Kotzwinkle, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and many others.