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

An interview with Helen Macdonald; Noreen Malone and Amanda Demme on Bill Cosby's ignored victims; Sarah Stillman on the death of Charnice Milton.

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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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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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Photo: Stephen Driver

The Jagged, Gilded Script of Scars


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


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


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


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