The Writing Life

"When you can’t write, you write lists. To-do lists. Reading lists. Life lists. Lists of things to be repaired or fixed. Packing lists. Shopping lists. You write longhand in tight, tiny letters that you need paper towels, eggs, butter, apples, chicken breasts, and spinach."

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Women We Read This Week

Alexandra Sacks on the birth of a mother; Nina Martin and Renee Montagne on maternal mortality in the U.S., Susan Dominus on open marriage, and Monica Heisey's spoof of girl novels.

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Bookmarked

"I love this challenge: to produce an authentic storytelling experience in an unprecedented way—especially when the story and storytellers are radically engaged in dismantling the predominant ways that story is complicit in oppression and erasure."

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Body Of Work

"Lunch at the Fournets is just as I imagined it would be. Their apartment is tidy but stylish, colorful but understated. The two girls, aged three and six, wear matching navy blue jumpers from Petit Bateau."

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Placed

"What is the human place in the universe? I have begun to be obsessed by this question, but the answers that come from today tend toward the economic and political. Take effective political action, say the voices; agitate for legislation to abate climate change, take public transportation, contribute."

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Outlines

"It took such a long time for me to see that the book was about our relationship and that it was an abusive relationship. I didn't see that until very close to the end of writing it. I was just blind to it, myself. And that's what it was like being in it [the relationship], too: I couldn't see it for what it was.."

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Milestones

Exactly one week before my first book came out, my daughter weaned and potty trained. She did this in a day. After months, maybe even a year, of my hand-wringing about a possible eternity of diapers, about when and how to perfectly ease her off the boob, she woke up one morning and became a kid.

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Recent

Family Trees

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My grandfather, a young boy in a red coat wandering the deep and snowy Lithuanian woods, found a litter of wolf cubs in a hollowed oak that had been rent by lightning. He placed the abandoned pups in the hood of his coat and carried them home, where he raised them, or he let them go, or he began a new narrative of our family inextricably linked ever after with white and quiet woods, with dogs, with hollowness sometimes filled by something unexpected. Soon after, he moved to Warsaw, where he stayed and where I, eventually, came from.

The Voice

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Whitney Elizabeth Houston died on February 11, four years ago. It was a Saturday, the night before the Grammy Awards, the weekend before Valentine’s Day. I was sitting on the red sofa in my first Brooklyn apartment procrastinating on a work assignment with a glass of white wine and hurt feelings about a romantic problem that often distracted me.

Written by Women: A Manifesto

By Sarah Menkedick Read the story