Illustration: Jenny Williams

Women We Read This Week

Irina Reyn's "The Photograph" in Brain, Child In the Facebook era, the absence of public documentation of certain events in one's life speaks as loudly as the visible display of others. What are we leaving out of our public narratives and why? In this elegant essay, at once tender and reluctant, Irina Reyn speaks to her wariness of sharing photos of her baby. "To ... [Continue Reading]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Illustration: Jenny Williams

Women We Read This Week

Jenny Nordberg's “The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys” in The Atlantic At school, Mahnoush is known as Mehran; at work, Niima is called Abdul Mateen. These girls do not know each other, but they do know what it is to have an open gateway into the world around them—as boys. They are bacha posh, girls dressed as boys, an uncommon but not unusual practice in ... [Continue Reading]

Illustration: Jenny Williams

Women We Read This Week

Lucinda Williams' "Where the Spirit Meets the Bone: A Memoir" on the Longreads Blog Nothing satisfies like a Lucinda Williams song. Her words, emanating from her achy soul and propelled—with great will, it sometimes seems—up through her gravelly throat always launch me on a sad, nostalgic bender, sending me adrift into a land of heartache and pain that seems to have ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Camille T. Dungy's "A Brief History of Near and Actual Losses" in Virginia Quarterly Review At the Cape Coast Castle on the Ghanaian coast, visitors can tour the dungeons of a 350-year-old castle where, during the Atlantic slave trade, 1500 men, women, and children at a time were shackled and packed into dank rooms on the eve of their journeys out of Africa. In 2013 ... [Continue Reading]

Illustration: Jenny Williams

Women We Read This Week

Jeanne Marie Laskas’s "The New Face of Richard Norris" in GQ Richard Norris’s face transplant is life-threatening cosmetic surgery, and the fact that that would ever feel necessary tells us something deeply uncomfortable about the world we live in. Laskas approaches this delicately, through the layers of stories that have been built up around Norris: He is a ... [Continue Reading]