Writer and poet Souvankham Thammavongsa’s work will be featured in an upcoming award-winning literary journal.
Thammavonga’s short story, “Worms,” is included in Ploughshares’ winter 2018-19 issue, a collection of stories, poems and essays from writers all around the world.
In “Worms,” Thammavongsa unravels the layered relationship between a single mother and teenage daughter, both of whom are Lao refugees residing in a western world. They, and other Lao refugees, pick worms from the ground on a farm for meager wages.
Although only eight pages long, “Worms” explores privilege and the ache and injustice of uprooting one’s life for the promise of a better future—only to be met with hardship along the way.
Thammavongsa herself was born in a refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, Granta, NOON and Best American Non-Required Reading. She is working on her first collection of stories, called “How to Pronounce Knife,” which is set for a 2020 release date. Thammavongsa currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
Other stories in Ploughshares’ winter issue will cover topics ranging from gun violence and the extinction of Galapagos sea turtles to the vulnerability of contemporary life and final goodbyes.
The issue is available now and a digital or physical copy can be purchased on Ploughshares’ website.