The Writing Life

"Each time my Mexican-American family returns for a stretch to Oaxaca, I start a blog. During our first week here on my Fulbright grant, I spend all day on the street, eating tacos, taking photos of topiary depicting Jesus on the cross, following the whine and bang of firecrackers to the nearest roving banda."

Read more

Women We Read This Week

Kate Shellnutt on making friends after 30; Lily Gurton-Wachter reviews the literature of new motherhood; and Elizabeth Yuko delves into our obsession with Lizzie Borden.

Read more

Bookmarked

"I’ve always been drawn to writing about the natural world: nonfiction that engages with a particular geography, explores wild or backyard landscapes, travels into the mysteries of medicine, the animal brain, the limits of the solar system."

Read more

Body Of Work

"When my oldest son is the size of an apple, my belly begins to push out against my overalls. It is late summer, and the monsoons have brought a week of night rain in the Arizona desert. The water sounds like stones being thrown against the tin roof."

Read more

Placed

"During monsoon in Nepal, when Shree Gograha Secondary School, where I taught, was not in session, I would visit an elementary school in the area, which was housed in a cramped concrete building half a mile from Shree Gograha."

Read more

Outlines

"I’ve been covering the BP Oil Spill for six years. It’s not something I planned to do and it became a huge part of my life; it continues to be. Basically, I have to be prepared to be able to go where a story takes me. "

Read more

Milestones

I was driving a winding Ohio country road while my husband was at his mother’s funeral in Mexico. I was driving by myself, listening to a live recording of Natalia LaFourcade’s “Aventurera.” On either side of me, fields shone bright green under July sunshine.

Read more

Recent

Photo: naosuke ii

Rich Country

By

During monsoon in Nepal, when Shree Gograha Secondary School, where I taught, was not in session, I would visit an elementary school in the area, which was housed in a cramped concrete building half a mile from Shree Gograha. I did not particularly like to go, but its principal, S. Niroula, had asked me, and nothing feels more useless than being a Peace Corps Volunteer on vacation.

Photo: Jorge Santiago

Everyday Geography

By

I have never been good with my hands. By this I don’t mean, “Oh, I can’t handsew little cat ornaments to gift at birthday parties,” or, “I could never make my toddler a homemade dinosaur costume for Halloween.”

Photo: Jorge Santiago

A Wilderness of Waiting

By

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.

Written by Women: A Manifesto

By Sarah Menkedick Read the story