Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Abigail Rasminsky’s "I’m Pregnant. So Why Can’t I Tell You?" in Medium When Abigail Rasminsky got pregnant she told only family and close friends. In this essay, she questions why exactly the first trimester is viewed by many as a secret. Considering one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage and the early stage is deemed the most risky, Rasminsky speculates ... [Continue Reading]

Bouguereau, The Virgin With Angels

The Cloister and the Cradle

If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. I have an image of the Child, our Lord, in a cradle. I was so powerfully compelled by my Lord with great sweetness, longing and desire and also by His request, because it was said to me by my Lord: “If you do not nurse me I will take myself away from you ... [Continue Reading]

Illustration: Jenny Williams

Women We Read This Week

Daisy Hernández's "Latina at the white, male New York Times" in Salon The title of this piece suggests a screed, but what unfolds is a narrative more sad than outraged, more comparable to the slow and baffling dissolution of a marriage than to a righteous battle with institutionalized injustice. In fact, Hernández draws on the former metaphor in this phenomenal ... [Continue Reading]

Photo Jorge Santiago

Love in los tiempos del Spanglish

  If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. When I first met el Gordo – antes de que lo llamara el Gordo, cuando todavía era Jorge – we spoke puro español. He had a mop of pelo negro, casi chino, a lion’s mane embracing a sweet, round cara de inocencia. Pero en sus ojos había ... [Continue Reading]

AIDSAfrica

The Limits of Compassion

In August of 2000, I found myself in a remote rural village in Lesotho. I was working as an AIDS journalist and had traveled to Durban for a conference on the continent’s pandemic. There, a stout Basotho woman invited me to come and see what was happening in her country. It was my first trip to Africa. My first greeting by ululating women. My first experience as an ... [Continue Reading]

Photo: Jeff Archer

Testimony

If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. Because of the fog, no one can enter San Quentin. Inmates must remain in their cells to be counted. We must remain on the outside. Nearly 100 people stand around, chatting, waiting to enter in order to watch prisoners perform a series of drama sketches, ... [Continue Reading]

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Of Bikes and Men

If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. I’ve just completed my first year as a full-time lecturer teaching writing at a state university, and this is, undoubtedly, the most anticipated summer vacation of my life. After nine months of being tied to my desk, of prepping, teaching, reading, and ... [Continue Reading]

Photo: Richard BH

Lilac Stitches

If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. I met my future stepmother in a Leningrad subway when I was eight. Luda was a twenty-year-old transplant from a small Ukrainian town, painted with shiny scarlet lipstick and heavy eyeliner and hanging out with her best friend, prowling for adventure and ... [Continue Reading]

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The Non-Bravery of Bearing Witness

If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. It’s happening again: I’ve published a highly personal essay and well-intentioned readers are calling me brave. It’s meant as a compliment, I know, but I can’t help feeling what I always feel when I hear this comment: confused and a little ... [Continue Reading]

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The Antidote for Personal Narrative

If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. A month from now, I will be a full-time kindergarten teacher. This was not part of the plan. The plan was... well, there wasn't much of one, other than to Be A Writer and Write A Book--you know, those things I'd been wanting to do and saying I was ... [Continue Reading]

Photo: The U.S. Army.

A True War Story

If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. Columbus, Georgia, is, above all else, an Army infantry town, and it showed in the crowd on the Friday night that Tim O’Brien came to tell war stories: it was an audience of windbreakers and baseball hats marked by military insignia; square jaws and ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Roxane Gay’s “The Price of Black Ambition” in VQR Roxane Gay is having a moment. Her moment, to be exact. With two books—the novel Untamed State and the essay collection Bad Feminist--out in the last year, she’s packing standing room-only crowds, inspiring celebrity-sighting tweets on airplanes, and garnering the kind of gratitude and adoration that is, if ... [Continue Reading]

VelaBookmarked

Bookmarked: Andria Williams’ Five Women Fiction Writers on War

As a fiction writer and a member of an active-duty Navy family, I am always curious about how the public views us military folk. After a decade of living in a nation at war, how do people imagine what servicemembers and their families do, what they have done, these past ten years? And when military women (spouses, veterans) choose to write fiction – which doesn’t ... [Continue Reading]

Photo: Rodrigo Jardon

Waiting for Heads

If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. I read eyes and gestures, scars and tattoos. I read gathering films of sweat, fleeting looks, the shift of weight and the movement of eyelashes. I live for that moment before the photo is taken, the one when I am on the street in Mexico City, surrounded ... [Continue Reading]

Illustration: Jenny Williams

Women We Read This Week

If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting Vela's quest to pay writers on Kickstarter! We thank you infinitely for your support. Carolyn Kormann’s "The Swimmer: Manhattan Edition" in The New Yorker I’ve always loved John Cheever’s classic short story, “The Swimmer,” from which this gentle and weirdly affecting piece takes its chief inspiration. ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Sara Bernard's "Rape Culture in the Alaskan Wilderness" in The Atlantic Sara Bernard's piece in The Atlantic this week is a feat of reporting about the high prevalence of rape in Alaska, "the rape capital of the U.S." On top of her haunting details about the rural landscape, a place where victims of sexual assault are often forced to conduct their own ... [Continue Reading]