Meet The Rational’s Fiction Editor

Fiction Column Intro by Ella Whiten
Illustration by Ella Whiten

Rational readers:

I think fiction is an essential means for understanding the relationship between individual lives and the collective experience of personhood. The stories that we tell ourselves and those around us –– “in order to live,” as Joan Didion puts it –– are shaped largely by social, political, and cultural contexts (for better or for worse). All of this is to say that ideas expressed through literary fiction can shatter and rebuild us anew, and what’s more: they can change the status quo.

In this section of the Rational, you will encounter all manner of aesthetics. Writers will sometimes transcend form and genre. They will convey a deep sense of greater purpose, setting our hearts racing and minds ablaze, while connecting us each to the other—regardless of time or circumstance.

I hope to bring you thought-provoking work; stories that may occasionally cause discomfort, especially when we explore themes regarding race, sexuality, and gender. I hope these writers challenge you. I hope they remind you that words, and our narratives as women — no matter how clouded, quieted, or totally effaced they oftentimes may seem — do, and will, prevail.

Rebecca Vicino is The Rational's Fiction editor. She was born and raised in Southern California but has spent eight years living and working in San Francisco, where she earned her B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn and attends Columbia University as an MFA candidate in fiction. Her writing has appeared in W Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, and online at purple TELEVISION. In her short fiction, she explores themes like impositions made on female sexuality, mental illness, and obsessive behavior. She is working on a novel about an Italian-American family that spans decades.