Brobby’s Double Jeopardy

Magazine Review by Katy Haas.

The Winter 2020 issue of The Malahat Review opens with the winner of the 2020 Constance Rooke Prize for Creative Nonfiction: “On Playing Double Jeopardy!” by Christina Brobby. This piece works through the different money categories in a game of Jeopardy all on the theme of photographic terms. Like the show, Brobby is given the answer and she responds with the appropriate question as she connects the term to her life.

I enjoyed the set-up of this piece. It flows seamlessly, Brobby always taking care to weave the photographic terms into the moments of her life. She examines how she presents as her race, in her adoptive family, as a wife, a partner, a mother. When she gives the answer of “What is a filter?” she ends the section turning it back inward: “Be more or less vibrant, act more coolly, like when the man after your husband said you were too emotional and that’ s not what he was signing up for. You donned your neutral-density filter . . . ”

This piece is a great opener for the issue, and well-deserved of taking home the Constance Rooke Prize. It immediately caught my eye and drew me in with its unique format, something greatly appreciated in the these days of shortened attention spans.

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