Genre: Essays

Pliny Redux

In rural Laos, a village had relocated only meters away from its original site after a recent dam construction submerged it. The historical village lay under an artificial lake, where tree branches poked from underwater. In the afternoon, our modest …

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Song and Dance


You know, I think these days we would call it a mild stroke . . . yes, I think your dad had a mild stroke. 

Could that happen from drinking?

Well, I don’t know, but he was very drunk.

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Our Armor


Every morning of my childhood, my mother emerged from the bathroom after a shower perfumed by a heady mix of talcum powder and baby oil. Dressed in a blouse and petticoat, the softness of her belly just spilled over …

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Slow-Dancing with 45s

At the age of fourteen, during my last year in junior high school in Gardena, I began to realize that if I were ever to get a date I ’d have to revolutionize my musical point of reference. The faux …

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Against Winning

For fewer but more perfect blooms,
experts say to prune the buds.

—Sara Wainscott, Insecurity Systems


The ideas in this essay have not led me to quit or walk away from any role or job I currently hold. But …

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If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You


I don’t remember what they called that night. Someone drove us to a house off campus. Someone blindfolded us. Someone lined us up around the perimeter of a pool. They made us practice fundamentals—low mark time (heel up, toes …

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