Bewildering Stories welcomes...
Elana is a professor of English literature at Tel-Aviv University and commutes between Tel-Aviv and Mountain View, California. She is trilingual in Russian, Hebrew and English and has taught at many universities, including Princeton, Stanford and the University of Hong Kong. She has published non-fiction, including a study of postmodern science fiction and the temporal imagination. In fiction, she has published a short story and a fantasy novel.
“Jonathan” tells of a woman who is a Russian expatriate named Val. She discovers that her friends’ mentally handicapped son, Jonathan, has, unaccountably, adult proficiency in Russian although he does not speak otherwise.
Jonathan deigns to communicate with Val, who sees him as a precursor of a kind of superior evolution of humanity. Unfortunately, Jonathan and his parents come to a very bad end. Readers will surely come away with a sense of the characters’ social, emotional and linguistic alienation.
The story is also bound to be controversial. Jonathan is described as “autistic.” Parents of autistic children may have something to say about their experience with the condition. In any event, the story treats autism quite differently from the way Donald Schneider’s “Pride’s Prison” deals with Tourette’s Syndrome.
Elana Gomel’s bio sketch can be found here.
Welcome to Bewildering Stories, Elana. We hope to hear from you again soon and often!
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