“On Sunday we drive to prison. I have packed snacks for the children. They have charged their phones. We start early, when the roads are empty. I used to cry on this drive. Now I don’t. I don’t seethe anymore, either. And I’ve stopped hoping. Everything that could go wrong already did. No more detours are possible around the scorched landscape of our life. All I can do is witness.”
As Connie Pertuz-Meza recalls her Papi’s struggles with alcoholism and the toll the shame of his addiction took on her, her sister, and her Mami, she comes to the realization that her sadness does not define her.
“Upon reflection now, I think the attic, to me, represented something of my feminine desire, perhaps contained it, let it incubate, simmer, and grow.”
When one woman visits a Japanese bathhouse, she confronts the way childhood surgery shaped her perceptions of nudity, her beauty, and herself as a woman.
A personal essay in which Narratively deputy editor Lilly Dancyger writes about dealing with people’s mistaken assumptions about the economics of her upbringing. A high-school dropout who later worked her way through college and graduate school, Dancyger grew up poor — the daughter of a single mother who was a recovering heroin addict. In New York City media circles, people tend to make comments indicating they assume she comes from privilege. Here, Dancyger sets the record straight.
A bracing essay on late-term abortion, and how American politics have made an impossibly difficult situation even more painful and dangerous for women.
“‘We fought for years so you didn’t have to dress like that,’ said the woman next to me waiting to board Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.”
In addition to plenty of great advice for aspiring writers, George Saunders reflects on the creative process for his new novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, the mystery of the “constellation of meaning” — the interviews, notes, and scenes that once distilled become his nonfiction work, and on bold compassion as the right course of resistance under a Trump presidency.
You can learn a lot from a Missouri Bass Pro Shop about white America’s misperceptions and fantasies about the Osage Nation, if you’re really looking.
Chadburn’s beautiful, brutal essay pairs memories of poverty and the foster care system with an unlikely clarion call: pay your taxes. “Taxes are revolutionary,” she writes. “When I pay my taxes I am telling my community I value you.”