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]

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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]

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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]

Illustration: Jenny Williams

Women We Read This Week

Janet Malcolm's "Iphigenia in Forest Hills" in The New Yorker In the erratic throes of new motherhood, I've been doing a lot of baby rocking while watching episode after episode of The Good Wife. In the process I've developed killer biceps and a fascination with the byzantine machinations of the legal system. It seems fateful, then, that in browsing through the endless ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Sabrina Rubin Erdely's "The Transgender Crucible" in Rolling Stone At one point in the story of CeCe MacDonald, a trans woman who was charged with murder after defending herself from a violent attack, her defense lawyer tells Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely that his task was to inform the jury about the habitual violence trans women face. "We'd have to be ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Rachel Riederer’s "The Teaching Class" in Guernica I read Riederer’s piece about a month ago, and though at first it didn’t stand out to me, I’ve found that my mind keeps wandering back to it. What first seemed another piece about the injustice of adjunct workers in higher education has become that article I’m repeatedly referring people to. I suppose ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Meredith Broussard's "Why Poor Schools Can't Win at Standardized Testing" on The Atlantic Forget for a moment the irony of an article critiquing financial biases in public education leading to a pop-up ad for a $50,000 Masters of Education program at USC. Meredith Broussard's work of investigate journalism digs into the flawed system of standardized testing that has ... [Continue Reading]