They Call Him RratBy Nora Hickey
The unlikely bond between a hospice volunteer and a dying Vietnam veteran.
A Slight RiskBy Ashley Patronyak
An American pregnancy in Manila.
Trying to Get RightBy Lucas Mann
The breakthrough addiction medication and the doctors who risk everything to prescribe it.
My Father’s AleppoBy Maurice Chammah
An exodus, a return, and the questions that follow.
Natural Birth in the New AmericaBy Kate Daloz
Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery and the back-to-the-land movement.
The Pretensions of PopBy Dan Fox
A look at the secret, defining force in a field largely comprised of autodidacts and bedroom enthusiasts
Running StillBy Lynn Steger Strong
Obsession as symptom, cause, and cure.
The Future of LanguageMarch 2016
A Guernica special issue.
Teach Me to Be MeBy Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Future of Language: We wanted to make Kenya our literary base from which to engage with the world.
Distant BrainsBy Alena Graedon
Future of Language: Scientists are experimenting with ways for people to communicate using only their minds. But at what cost?
Thick of TongueBy John McWhorter
Future of Language: So what exactly is this “black sound” I am insisting exists?
The Buddha of KabulBy Taran N. Khan
At Tepe Naranj, archaeologist Zafar Paiman is working to preserve the remnants of an ancient monastery—and the memory of Afghanistan’s Buddhist past.
Mother is MarxistBy Susan Briante
The market scans my child, calculates pecuniary value.
Istanbul’s Wandering SongbirdsBy Kaya Genç
Street vendors are outlaws by definition.
Slow ThinkingBy Anna Badkhen
An Unnatural Pursuit.
To AnyangBy Ariel Lewiton
Lost for words in the cradle of Chinese civilization.
Take My Name and Say It SlowBy Thomas Dai
"But where are you really from?" they ask, and I never know who to answer for, Thomas or Nuocheng?
The Nostalgia AestheticBy Owen Hatherley
How the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster became a global design icon.
The Boundaries of NationsDecember 2015
A Guernica special issue.
Be Like WaterBy Annia Ciezadlo
Boundaries of Nations: The Nonviolent State of Iraq and Syria. The Republic-in-Motion of Lovers Not Fighters. The Government-in-Exile of People Who Just Want to Go to School.
Returning to EthiopiaBy Dinaw Mengestu
Boundaries of Nations: Exile had long since ceased to be a temporary condition, but what I hadn’t known was that, like love, it could deepen with time.
Among StrangersBy Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
Boundaries of Nations: Traveling the globe to research the buying and selling of passports, a reporter reflects on arbitrary citizenship and what it means to be “from somewhere.”
5 Queen’s RoadBy Sorayya Khan
A house is partitioned along the lines, and in the chaos, of the new independent nations of India and Pakistan.
The Book Lady of KabulBy J. Malcolm Garcia
Block by block she maneuvers through the teeming sidewalks of Kabul’s Shar-E-Naw shopping district until she enters Ice-Milk Restaurant, stops at tables.
The River Rises to Meet YouBy Nicole Miller
Alone, un-housed, we moved with the current, the future suspended like the long lines of a spider’s silk flung loose on the air.
Hidden in a SuitcaseBy Michele Leavitt
In search of the mother who gave her up for adoption, the author finds six siblings instead. Decades later, she contemplates the drug addiction that cost many of them their lives.
Fiction Tells a Truth That History CannotBy Maaza Mengiste and Rodrigo Rey Rosa
On being mentored by Breyten Breytenbach and Paul Bowles.
An Art Without an ArtworkBy Tom Russell
A summer of chess in Bryant Park.
Water in the DesertBy Beth Alvarado
From 1952 to 1981, a chemical used to clean airplanes contaminated the groundwater in a Tucson community. By the time the city stepped in, thousands were already sick or dying.
Death of a ValleyBy Lauren Markham
In 1953, California sacrificed a town to stave its own thirst. But the act was futile, and the state is thirstier than ever.