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]

Photo: jhencolors2

The Postcard Days

Before flying north for a summer halfway through college, what I knew about Denali National Park was that it was big and remote, and that it had bears and one gravel road. Soon after arriving, I found myself with an unremarkable job in a remarkable place: working 40 hours a week selling books and postcards at the visitor center at mile 66 of said road—measured from its ... [Continue Reading]

Illustration: Jenny Williams

Bookmarked: Hannah Stephenson’s Five Female Poets

Poetess: for me, the word conjures up a lady in a white ruffled gown, flung across velvet chaise, sighing and scribbling with a pen that resembles a feather duster. What is most objectionable about the word is how it implies that a female poet isn’t a poet--she is something different. Something a little less--a poet(l)ess. Thankfully, the word doesn’t get thrown ... [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]

Photo: Jorge Santiago

Leave to Remain

When I was younger I used to fantasize about having a button I could press that would pause the world around me while I caught my breath, had a nap, figured out a solution, came up with something witty to say. My current situation is the opposite of that fantasy - someone has pressed the pause button on my life, and I am suspended, watching the rest of the world go ... [Continue Reading]

VelaBookmarked

Bookmarked: Rufi Thorpe’s Five Debut Novelists

As a debut novelist, I tend to read other debut novelists. I didn’t always. I used to read mostly books that were recommended to me by my mother or by friends. I usually only found an author after they had published two or three books. I thought of this as waiting for the cream to rise, so that I wouldn’t have to suffer through that disappointing moment of setting a ... [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]

Aftermath_ChrisGoldberg

Emergency Pot Cookie (Or, the Nascence and Destruction of my First Real Writing Job)

If you are ever nineteen and living in San Francisco for the first time, working at your first writing job, getting paid, getting laid, carousing 24/7 with your utterly lovable just-coming-out-of-the-closet gay bestie, bathing in a seemingly endless shower of free weed, passing effortlessly into the VIP lounges of the city’s newest clubs, eating Chinese food that pitches ... [Continue Reading]