Personal Essays Archive
Jaquira Díaz’s 2019 memoir resonated deeply with me in a way that a bronzed Al Pacino never could, and that a book never had.
Once or twice, if we're lucky, we may come across a writer who changes our lives. For me, the greatest discovery of my reading life, and the biggest influence on my writing life, was a box of fantasy and science fiction books my father left behind when he moved
As she got older, anytime someone was thinking of leaving town, my grandmother would implore them to stay, reciting the refrain that has now become a family catchphrase: “Don’t go no place,” she’d say. Family is the place. Nobody understands this interpretation of the utopian ideal better than immigrant
We’ve spent so much time discussing Ignatius Reilly: his multi-dimensional, timeless creation, but have ignored saying the obvious about John Kennedy Toole—that much of the Dunces mythos is built on the back of his suicide.
Hilary Leichter’s debut novel is a shifting, surrealist tale of a young woman’s search for permanent employment that deftly captures the anguish of living inside such existential uncertainty, and more terrifying, the potential infinity of it.
A home doesn’t feel like a home when there are structures built to immortalize those who dehumanized entire populaces. But it feels a little more like home when we’re marching, when we fill spaces with our bodies, our friends, our loves, our strangers, shouting out the names of the
One cannot simply outgrow or outlive a colonial, racist history. In order for the system to change, we need to stare at it and acknowledge it for what it is.
I remember the books I brought to the sober home. I started talking to the other residents about them, even though I’d never opened them up. I would say this or that, something arbitrary or vague. It was intoxicating to displace myself, to wash myself with fictions I couldn’t
Nano Shabtai’s 2015 book feels especially personal to me. For the past three years, I’ve been working on a memoir about how the world of relationships is experienced through the eyes of a woman who is often troubled by sex but has been instructed her entire life to prioritize
Emily Dickinson knew that modesty and self-confidence, blended together, would disarm her reader and delight and mystify the people around her. Shirking conventionality offered her a modicum of freedom and enlarged her presence simultaneously; she was both eccentric spinster and white-clad angel, depending on how you saw her.