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."

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Women We Read This Week

Jenny Qi contemplates the meaning of stuff; Mariah Blake investigates the poisoning of a town in West Virginia by DuPont; and Jesmyn Ward tells us why Beyoncé's new music video is so important.

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Bookmarked

"I am constantly on the lookout for teachable texts, and I have gathered these five with the ambition that they might teach not only my students, but teach me, too, how beauty and brutality continue to coexist in verse and in our world."

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Body Of Work

"All weekend, I’ve been in bed, in the limbo land of the sick. It’s a space I know well, a territory I’ve occupied for periods of time throughout my adult life: a quiet, darkened room, shades drawn to the outside."

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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. 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."

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Outlines

"I grew up in a family with very little spoken memory. Growing up within an atmosphere of silence just left me wondering: Who am I, where did I come from, who are my ancestors? I believed even at a young age that I needed to have some sense of answers to those questions to really have a future."

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Milestones

"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." I mean, I can barely open a bag of cereal. Somehow, there are Cheerios everywhere and the kitchen looks like the scene of a bizarre tragedy and my husband is saying, again, "What is wrong with you?"

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Recent

Photo: naosuke ii

Rich Country

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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

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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.”

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