We recently published Maria Zach’s cutting “Searching For a Stomach.”

Here, we ask her two questions about her story:


1) The imagery in this story is so stark and powerful — it definitely gave me a shudder when I first read it. What was the inspiration for the pieces these people give up and have hidden away?

The micro as a whole was inspired by my reading of the Great Bengal Famine which happened during the British occupation of India.
When hordes of people move from one place to another due to lack of food, they have to give up almost all their physical possessions. That idea translated itself into the pieces of themselves that the people give away.


2) At the end, they all become earth or return to earth. This has such a mythological feel to it. Was that your intent, or was it something simpler?

Both. After the famine, large areas in the affected region returned to forest, due to large scale death and exodus of the population. But as I was writing that, it also struck me that the Earth was reclaiming that which had been taken from her. Plus, the faeries definitely add to the mythical feel.