ABOUT CHRISTINE STODDARD
Christine Stoddard is a Salvadoran-Scottish-American writer and artist who lives in Brooklyn. Her writings have appeared in Marie Claire, The Feminist Wire, Bustle, Teen Vogue, The Huffington Post, Ravishly, So to Speak, Jimson Weed, and beyond. In 2014, Folio Magazine named her one of the top 20 media visionaries in their 20s for founding Quail Bell Magazine. Christine also is the author of Hispanic & Latino Heritage in Virginia (The History Press), Ova (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), and two miniature books from the Poems-For-All series.
Plenty of girls who make it in New York. Girls who look like me make it in this city the time. But contrary to the Sex in the City-Beaches-Funny Girl style success narrative, there are also girls who work twice and hard to make it half as far. There are girls who don't make it at all.
Daughter of a Christmas tree/tobacco plantation dynasty and "the highest ranking Black man" in the United States Army, Lavinia inherits the apex of southern trauma. Smart, quiet, and observant, Livinia's elaborate fantasy of becoming a Broadway costume designer is clipped by her the fear that ambitions like that are impossible for "high yellow" girls like her.
From college in Richmond, Virginia, to living at home in Fredericksburg, to finally making a leap to New York City on a midnight Chinatown bus, Lavina's identity as a mixed race woman tails her doggedly; capping every success with a condition. "Your dramaturgy Professor used to say/ you had exotic features" she says after a few lonely months in Brooklyn. Living in New York is living with ghosts.
Tackling the effects of race and gender in a city notably hostile to both, "Lavinia Moves to New York" explores dreams and ambition in girls not usually granted room for either.
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