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Women We Read This Week

Mary H K Choi's "Korean Thanksgiving" in Aeon Magazine This piece is all about tone and perception. The story of a second-generation woman getting dragged to a cemetery by her Korean mother and aunts could go a variety of ways: sappy sentimental, overly analytical, snarkily quippy. But Mary H K Choi avoids all these pitfalls and gives us something that perfectly ... [Continue Reading]

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The Morning After

Paper gown and stirrups, white walls and a tray of gleaming tools: he held the syringe over me and said, “It’s a special kind of anesthetic. We won’t be putting you completely under—you’ll still be lucid—but you won’t remember anything.” Then he slid it in. I stared out of the window at a little pond just beyond the parking lot: gray water against gray ... [Continue Reading]

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On Appetite: Four Food Vignettes

Salt Alice Driver What did we know then? We knew the dirt roads of the Ozark Mountains, knew that duct tape was the best way to remove thousands of seed ticks, knew to ignore the fierce itch of poison ivy, knew to collect rocks with abandon. The curve of that salt block, worn down by the tongues of dozens of cows, called out to us. We ran across the field, my cousins ... [Continue Reading]

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From the Hearth in Périgord

When I first approach the five-hundred-year-old farm, I am not sure I’ve come to the right place. The address Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch had given me a month earlier when I called her for an interview was simply “La Borderie,” the name of her French home and cooking school sewn into the fringes of a diminutive village in the rolling hills of the Dordogne, a region of ... [Continue Reading]

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Women We Read This Week

Meaghan Winter's "My Abortion" in New York Magazine “I remember growing up and hearing how an abortion was carried out. It seemed like everybody was talking about it. I think you hear your older sisters and women talking, and you hear snippets of what goes on,” said NoViolet Bulawayo, author of the novel We Need New Names when I interviewed her in New York ... [Continue Reading]

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Learning to Float

It was gray, raining, but a narrow ribbon of cornflower blue ran between the stormy patches to the north. The ribbon ran over the long rolling hills around Zanesville, over the Love's where the old men in Arby's were talking about bad weather, over the damp flat fields outside of Columbus, where corn stalks were bare and bent with November. "You've always had goals, and ... [Continue Reading]

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Fire Ants

  In those first months living in El Salvador, had I walked down a village street and seen young men leaning against gaping doorframes, their eyes steady upon me, I would have read the wrong story. Then, I could barely speak, let alone interpret what signs I might have seen: a flash of black ink on skin; aerosol piss scrawled across cinder block walls. I might have ... [Continue Reading]

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Writers Respond to Typhoon Haiyan

On ordinary days, this is a magazine of creative nonfiction, inspired by travel, written by women--by which we mean that Vela publishes writing that endeavors to express what is real in a manner that is both curious and connection-seeking, and we do so in the spirit of solidarity. And when but in the wake of faraway disaster does such work matter most? As everyone knows, ... [Continue Reading]

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Goodbye to All This

So, I’m balking on my grad school apps. It’s not because they seem arduous—in fact, they seem surprisingly streamlined. It’s not because I’m unaccustomed to writing 500-1,000-word personal essays. It’s not because I’m unclear on my motivations. It’s not like I’m about to give up a good life in Hanoi and move back to the States and take out *terrifying* ... [Continue Reading]

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Women We Read This Week

Amy Wallace's "A Very Dangerous Boy" in GQ The theme of this week's reads for me was Nazism, or rather the insidious way Nazism infiltrates, persuades and is perceived in a culture. Amy Wallace delves deep into the story of Joseph Hall, who shot and killed his neo-Nazi father when he was merely ten years old. Wallace portrays the complexity of the case; of legally ... [Continue Reading]