The Writing Life

"At a time when I am still figuring out how to keep a small, vulnerable human alive, I am less and less able to define why writing matters, and yet I begin to write like I mother: out of bedrock necessity."

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Women We Read This Week

Gina Frangello on a complicated friendship; Kathryn Schulz on the giant earthquake headed for the Pacific Northwest; and Roxane Gay on the death of Sandra Bland.

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Bookmarked

Venus Thrash recommends six books by lesbians of color: "I want complex and multifaceted LGBTQ characters. I want them badass and vulnerable. Conscientious and heroic.... I want them having lots of healthy sex and falling in love."

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Body Of Work

"I read eyes and gestures, scars and tattoos. I read gathering films of sweat, fleeting looks, the shift of weight and the movement of eyelashes. I live for that moment before the photo is taken, the one when..."

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Placed

Serbia. "For me: baklava, sarma, palacinke, family, roots, the old country. For the uninitiated: a small landlocked country in southeastern Europe separated from the rest of the continent by the Danube river in the north, and from the Mediterranean by the Alps in the west."

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On Repeat

"When my parents sold the house I grew up in, I was determined not to be sentimental about it. This was ambitious as well as out of character, since I am sentimental about everything."

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Recent

Photo: Stephen Driver

The Jagged, Gilded Script of Scars

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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.

puja debis

Homage to Nepal

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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…

Patrick Bouquet

Not Travel Writing

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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.

Photo: Jorge Santiago

A Wilderness of Waiting

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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