Illustration: Jenny Williams

Women We Read This Week

Patsy Sims' "No Twang of Conscience Whatever" in Oxford American In “No Twang of Conscience Whatever,” Patsy Sims investigates the 1964 murders of civil rights activists Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney – an investigation which leads her to the Ku Klux Klan’s White Knights of Mississippi and a chilling interview with Preacher Edgar Ray ... [Continue Reading]

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Women We Read This Week

Rachel Sturtz's "Unprotected" in Outside Colorado-based Rachel Sturtz spent a year investigating this story, about USA Swimming's handling of coaches who sexually abuse and assault the young swimmers in their care. The national governing body for amateur swimming hasn't just turned a blind eye to serial predators in its ranks, it has also gone out of its way to obstruct ... [Continue Reading]

Illustration: Jenny Williams

Women We Read This Week

Lionel Shriver’s "I was poor but I was happy" in The Guardian What a lovely thing to wake up to on a weekday morning: an articulate little musing on happiness that never veers into sentimental or apologetic territory and makes you glad to have read it. Shriver uses a geographical metaphor to suggest a more complex - and realistic - understanding of happiness: as a ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Sarah Schweitzer's "Chasing Bayla" in The Boston Globe For the second time in two months, my "Women We Read This Week" pick is a sad, moving story about a whale. But while Leslie Jamison's 52 Blue was about loneliness and the way we so often transpose our own feelings onto animals, imagining that they feel the same way, "Chasing Bayla" is about the undeniable physical ... [Continue Reading]

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]