Welcome to the Massachusetts Review's Working Titles! Working Titles are e-publications of prose too long for our print pages. Working Titles will be published bimonthly.
Working Titles are made possible with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Five Colleges, Inc., and the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, as well as private donors.
In a city running on digital currency and gig economies, scooter-tracker Sasha makes ends meet before a routine job bears unexpected consequences. Between the automated phone systems, food trucks, and bustling coffeeshops, Sasha's world is frighteningly not all that different from our own. But with subtle nods to an omnipresent strongman and truthful prose, Avital Balwit constructs a dystopian narrative for a digitized present.
"The seeds of the world that Balwit foretells are already planted in our lives, and like every great storyteller, she directs our attention to this living center, where the intolerable has become normal, and indignity has melted into resignation."
—Shoshana Zuboff, from the afterward
"Avital Balwit builds a convincing world within the limited space of a short story, following the threads of our world to their perhaps-not-inevitable-if-we-can-help-it conclusions"-—Allison Kade, from the introduction
Avital Balwit is a writer from Portland, Oregon. She has short stories forthcoming in Lilith Magazine, Prairie Fire, and the Multispecies Cities anthology from Worldweaver Press. She won The Atlantic’s 2020 poetry contest. Her illustrated children’s book on octopus cognition will be published by Pop Up UK in Spring 2021. Avital is a Rhodes scholar studying political philosophy.