Sept/Oct 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 5 Why We Chose It |

Why We Chose It: “Make and Model” by Sophia Emmons-Bell

"Make and Model," by Sophia Emmons-Bell, appears in the Sept/Oct 2022 issue of the Kenyon Review. “This station always surprises me,” Nora tells us. “I love the escalator up from the underground platform because I think of curtains rising at the movies.” The narrator of Sophia Emmons-Bell’s story always being surprised by this BART station is an invitation to the reader as the curtain rises on this story. “I’ve lived here my whole life and still feel the cinematic awe.” It’s a paradoxically familiar feeling that she savors. This is economical and beguiling writing. On her way to see her sister, Selene, a car mechanic who “can rebuild almost anything,” Nora revels in the sounds of the station—the amplified voice of a preacher, “like an old cassette tape, staticky and melodic” (a clue to the narrator’s age), “trains chorusing their white noise,” and as she slowly walks through the Mission neighborhood, the fading religious exhortations and the conv

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Longitudinal Study

By JP Grasser

"Make and Model," by Sophia Emmons-Bell, appears in the Sept/Oct 2022 issue of the Kenyon Review. “This station always surprises me,” Nora tells us. “I love the escalator up from […]

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