"I am nearing the end of my first writerly—read, sedentary—summer ever. Recently, a detail from Julia Alvarez’s writing life came back to me, one I read a long time ago, although the context of when and where is long gone. Each morning, before she sits down to write, Alvarez fills a bowl on her writing desk with cold water. It is her daily bow to the mystery of life."Read more
"The Internet loves a particular kind of history. There’s a very specific set of concerns and aesthetics that are really popular. And I’m as guilty of that as the next person. Stuff like mustaches, artisanal apple cider…or the morbid anatomy kind of history, the history of death."Read more
I am drawing at the kitchen table, tracing the outlines of a dinosaur, when I find that my hand, in defiance of the vision in my mind, makes a line that ruins the dinosaur. There will be no dinosaur. I begin to cry. My mom, who is a weaver and works from home, comes over to see what I am crying about.
This morning, a 7.3 temblor rattled the already-ravaged nation of Nepal. More buildings have crumbled; more lives have been lost in the rubble and…
Last week in Mumbai, trying to recover from some respiratory bug that is clinging like scale to my throat and lungs, I stared at the brick walls of my room, and listened to the barks and yells and mumbles from the street against a background of near-constant honking horns.
In the eighth month of my nine-month human pregnancy, I go on a binge-Googling of animal gestation periods. Frilled sharks, I discover, gestate for 42 months. Elephants take 22 months. Sperm whales: 16. Walruses: 15. Rhinos: 14.
In Michoacán, the migrating mariposas appear with November, as if trailing the marigolds trucked in for Day of the Dead. They come by the fragile millions, fluttering a few thousand miles from el norte to the transvolcanic range of their own origin.
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…