Commonwealth; Or: We All Had Something Else In Mind

I was three-quarters finished with Ann Patchett’s new book, Commonwealth, when everything changed for the people I love. After three years of waiting, hoping, and trying to adopt, my friends’ baby girls were born too small and too soon. They were here, just for a moment, and then gone. A tragedy like this breaks you […]

You Can’t Touch My Hair, Or; Phoebe Explains Black Shit To White People, Hilariously

YOU GUYYYYYYSSSS. Have you been listening to 2 Dope Queens? It is the funniest goddamn thing your face ever laid ears on, and makes me grateful every day that Al Gore invented the internet so that I could have this podcast. Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson have the most amazing chemistry on stage, and such […]

Ninth Ward; Or, The “Resilience” Narrative of Poverty Reduction Can Fuck Right Off

Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Ninth Ward is a work of art in content and cover. Ninth Ward’s Lanesha is a 12-year old girl abandoned by her relatives and raised by the elderly midwife who birthed her, her mother having died in childbirth. Lanesha has “the sight,” an ability to perceive that which is beyond the physical. […]

The Joy Luck Club; Or, Rachel Green Was Missing Out

There’s this one episode of Friends where Rachel and Monica are out having dinner, and Rachel’s trying to impress a guy. He starts talking about books, and mentions Amy Tan. Rachel perks up at this delightful coincidence, and slaps his bicep playfully, declaring, “Why, I have The Joy Luck Club sitting on my nightstand right […]

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky

Tolstoy tells us in the first line of Anna Karenina that all happy families are the same. I think the same is true about books, except in reverse. There are an infinite number of ways to write deeply moving, complex stories about interesting and relatable characters, and there are exactly two ways* to attempt to do […]

An Untamed State; Or, [Stunned Silence]

I have so much to say about An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay, and yet I have no words. I will try. An Untamed State is the story of Mirielle, a woman who is kidnapped for ransom and brutally, incomprehensibly, raped and tortured during her captivity. It is told from Mirielle’s first-person perspective, as she […]

Happy Not Mother’s Day

I am not a mother. I will never be a mother. For me, this was a conscious choice and I am happy with it. For many others, motherhood status was never something entirely within their control. For some women, procreation and motherhood was thrust upon them, and for others it was ripped away. For some […]

Thoughts on Parenting From a Former Child

So, I’m reading A Trick of Light – which is terribly written, I don’t recommend it – but one paragraph has stepped off the page and smacked me across the face. The setup of the book is that the protagonist, a late-middle age wife and mother from a small town with even smaller perspective and ambitions, […]

Farmer Boy; or, My Deep Ambivalence For Laura Ingalls Wilder

I received a beautiful boxed set of the illustrated Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder for Christmas. Last year I’d gotten into reading some of my favorite books from childhood, and I was excited to dive into this set that had been such a big part of my life when I was young. Having […]

What Dreams May Come

I am given to understand that my relationship to dreaming is a strange one. We all dream, multiple times per night, in segments lasting anywhere from 5-20 minutes. These dreams are frequently complex, featuring multiple characters, emotional, and rich (though not usually in terms of color – most people report seeing pastel tones). Often, dreams contain […]