Personal Essays Archive

A Year of Online Flânerie

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
Lauren Elkin has written at length about women indulging in the pleasures of walking and discovering cities. Over the last fifteen months, with the world outside so static, I have walked down online paths, led not only by intrinsic curiosity but also by an inquisitiveness that arose out of

On the Confederate Flag

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
I’m driving in silence on State Highway 70, except for this truck that is motoring slow, and its exhaust pipe chokes like the engine is cutting off. The truck bed is rusted, exposing the primer. Still visible, though the paint is chipped, is the red, white, and blue star-crossed

Sacredness in the In-Between

Sergio Troncoso has chosen to situate his latest anthology in an in-between place. Through fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by Mexican American authors, it explores families living along the U.S.-Mexico border and how being in the middle of worlds impacts their lives.

States of Refusal in How to Do Nothing and Housekeeping

“Fourteen years ago I left my job at a publicly traded company and began life as a freelancer. In all these years I have been trying to get to what Jenny Odell calls the ‘third space,’ an arena of both participation in and resistance to society.”

Language and the Experience of Desire

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
A few summers ago, I found myself tongue-tied on a first date. When I’m in London, flirting tastes like the first day of Spring: it imbues the air with possibility, and teases out a linguistic recklessness in me. In Dutch, I seemed to inhabit a less sensuous version of

Searching for My Grandmother in The Heart Mountain Sentinel

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
When my grandmother was a girl, she slept with a knife underneath her pillow. The soft brutality of this detail rushes to the forefront of my mind every time I recall her face. I’m pulled in by the image of her small body afraid but ready to fight.

How the Past Echoes Through Our Lives

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
There is nothing especially remarkable about Papa Stanley’s death, no significant reason I should be thinking about it some 33 years later in the midst of a global pandemic and nationwide anti-racism protests, except it was the first part of what I came to see as a pattern emerging.

The Distance of Home

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
By leaving China, I demonstrated my freedom of choice and a quest for knowledge. Yet physical detachment only heightened my yearning for an emotional homecoming. In the decade since I first boarded a plane to the U.S., distance has lent me both a sharp lens and a soft gaze

I Will Always Be That

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
Throughout transition, I’ve often thought of my body as a poem––one whose semantics is a web of social relations I can’t quite parse, that no one can fully parse. More than a “receptacle,” my trans body necessarily relies on the creation of new subjective semantics.

The Power of Reading About Your Home

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.