Daughter by Dana Deihl was selected for publication by Mid-American Review staff for Vol. XLI.
Daughter is a piece of magical realist fiction that centers around the story of a mother who gives birth to a ghost baby. For reasons unknown, the baby daughter is translucent, floats above surfaces, and has cold breath. Separated from her husband because of a snowstorm, the mother desperately attempts to suppress feelings of aversion to him. Thus, all by herself, the ghost baby’s mother tries to discern her newborn’s condition, hoping that her daughter will be able to lead a normal life growing up. On her husband’s insistence, she agrees to see a doctor, who adds more mystery to the existence of the ghost baby.
This story has a unique plot and a compelling voice that perfectly blends these magical elements with reality. The poetic narration and vivid imagery beautifully capture a mother’s confusing yet exhilarating postpartum experience, especially one who birthed a ghost baby. The complex character of the mother and the mystery surrounding the existence of her ghost daughter holds readers’ interest until the end and leaves them wanting more.
—Tooba Amin, MAR