Growing up in what she calls “the bleak Sydney suburbs,” a depressed Australian teenager finds solace in Joy Division and her fellow music fans, which led her to the literature that shaped her as an adult ─ an adult for whom Joy Division and uncertainty continue to define her.
For anyone that does creative work, Gabrielle Bellot’s poetic piece at LithHub is a salve for the times when we’re plagued by artistic self-doubt. In relaying her own struggles and in deconstructing the work of W.B. Yeats and Derek Walcott, Bellot finds solace and inspiration in two other writers who also sought to shed the “thick coats of impostors.”
“I couldn’t shake that crystalline, hyperaware feeling one gets on important occasions—on birthdays, for instance, or on losing one’s virginity. My father is dead, I said to myself, my father is dead. Again and again I said it, and still I failed to grasp what it meant.”
A chance run in with a recently-released detainee drives home that the border Reyna Grande crossed into the U.S. with her family 30 years ago doesn’t lead to the same place as the border crossed today.
“Are books to us as leaves are to trees, feeding us while we hold them, then decomposing and feeding us again after we’ve let them go?”
In this moving personal essay, Amy Jo Burns writes about how the death of her writing mentor, Louise DeSalvo, has affected her, and how reading Alexander Chee’s How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, and Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend helped her process her grief.
One eater wanders through the fast food frontier, examining the culture of menu hacking, to undertand why restaurants honor special requests that defy their reliance on standardization.
When the director of her MFA writing program advises her not to pursue a part-time job to help pay the bills, Katie Prout starts visiting the local food bank out of necessity.
An essay in which Roxane Gay reveals how she chose the short stories for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2018 — with an eye toward writing that engaged with the political in thoughtful, engaging, diverse and inclusive ways.
The daughter of Indian immigrants looks at race, class and climate change in the giant heat sink known as Phoenix, Arizona, a city where money equips residents with the shade trees and air conditioning necessary to survive the heat.