Finding the Form with Tristan Marajh
Like my protagonist Sofiya Shirazi stifled and suppressed herself before finding her true form in Sofiya’s Choice, so too did I stifle and suppress my tale before The New Quarterly let its
full form be expressed.
Short fiction writers will attest that they often omit and edit in order to have their work fit into externally-mandated constraints of word-counts, page numbers and editorial requirements. So, too, was Sofiya forced to omit and edit parts of herself according to the external – and subsequently, internal – constraints and constricts in her life.
She never felt right doing this. And it never felt right, to me, to have those unfulfilled versions of Sofiya’s Choice under consideration-under-constraints: be these restrictions from
journals or literary competitions. The original version of Sofiya’s Choice features prose and a protagonist full and complex – exuberantly, excruciatingly human. I always longed for the
story’s full form to be expressed, just like Sofiya longed for the same for herself.
And again, like Sofiya, when she finds herself grateful where the story ends and her new life begins, so too I am thankful to The New Quarterly for choosing to publish the fullest – and
most fulfilling – form of Sofiya’s Choice.
Tristan Marajh’s piece The Taste of Memory is published in TNQ’s Issue 147 and was also awarded 1st-Prize in the inaugural Stratford Writing Competition. His work appears in a number of journals, including Existere: A Journal of Art & Literature, Ricepaper Magazine, The Nashwaak Review, The Miramichi Reader, Tamarind: A Literary Magazine, and others. He is currently at work on two collections of short fiction.