In this beautiful and poignant essay, the writer Crystal Hana Kim considers how translating her grandmother’s poems from Korean to English helped her appreciate the imprecision of language not as barrier to be transversed, but as an opportunity for new connection between herself, her mother, and her grandmother.
As Mary Heglar remembers Hurricane Katrina — which hit the day after the 50th anniversary of the murder of Emmett Till — she considers how racism and climate change are inextricably linked.
“The pain was incandescent: a sticky, piercing heat that felt a knife’s edge from ecstasy; it sent spasm after spasm through my limbs as I clung to the hospital sheets, straining toward the ceiling, yearning for the sky beyond it. I was half-gone, floating up to the cosmos, desperate for the frigid vastness of space, for my body to shatter into pieces and just float undisturbed, finally, finally. Back on earth, I was tethered, spread, split decisively open. My daughter slid from me, indignant, slick and firm as a plum, and stopped wailing as soon as they nestled her on my chest.”
Getting lost while picking mushrooms in Lithuania is so common that it has its own word. The word also applies to stories that diverge into tangents, like the author’s father’s about the Vietnam War.
“I’m in a haunted place, in my home and in my body.”
“For a school of drag to have liberated itself from binary rigidity is no small thing. The variety and fluidity here hint at larger trends within the art form, and have implications that reverberate beyond the drag world, too.”
The only thing better than an interview with writer, scholar, and Twitter luminary Tressie McMillan Cottom is an interview with McMillan Cottom where the interviewer is Roxane Gay.
As she recalls a trip to Peru, the body of a mummified girl sacrificed for the safety of the Incans over 500 years ago, and the frustrating neurological condition that steals her memory and strength, Jacqueline Alnes mines the topography of female identity and the stereotypes that erode our self image.
“When I choose, anoint, and burn a candle with my prayers scratched into the wax, when I make my prayers material, I convince myself that I can grab onto a power that will carry me through this life.”
With roots in apartheid-era conflict, waves of violence among municipal officials in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’s second largest province, threaten the nation’s democracy.