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Déja Vû

November 6, 2023
It had been sixty years since Mommy Mae left Tchula, Mississippi for Chicago, and she still believed that education was a salve for the systemically bruised. I wasn’t as sure, but journeyed to Iowa City on the fuel of her faith.


January 9, 2023
When your great-grandparents grew up in Stalin’s terror-famine, your grandparents in the Holocaust, and your parents in a straddle between totalitarianism and democracy, you grew up confused about pain. Were you entitled to it? Was it real?

Safety Town

June 20, 2022
These whimsical miniature street systems are at the heart of what my mom thinks is vital and good. They are utopias she is building — strange, if somewhat boring, microparadises where everyone obeys traffic laws.

Malali and Me

May 31, 2022
Motherland was something without content or form, something utterly abstract — something that, in relation to a country like this, could only occupy the minds of those who’d never had it.

Boys Will Be

February 28, 2022
I let myself believe that we felt the same defiance, the same degree of angry and powerless and omnipotent and free.
a sailor selling a nostrum by the sea


January 27, 2022
Hospitality is never simple: it will always require me to yield some control over my body or space to another’s desires.


July 22, 2021
The part we see is just the fruit; there’s a whole network of fungi underground, a system underneath the forest floor that sustains the trees, carries nutrients in white webs.


June 24, 2021
Like recovery, I sometimes can’t tell which is greater—the almost-affection I’ve cultivated for my skin, or my desire to emancipate from it.

Shock Therapy

June 8, 2021
"The vacuum created by the end of communism required a complete restructuring of every person’s life: where and how we got food, what we read and watched, what we admired and what we believed was true."

The Informants

May 26, 2021
After taking on gentrification in Denver, did a successful anti-gang activist become a target of law enforcement? An excerpt from journalist Julian Rubinstein's new book, The Holly.