In this as-told-to personal essay, High Maintenance Katja Blichfeld speaks about the vital importance — and difficulty, particularly after being raised evangelical — of coming out as gay this past year, and ending her marriage to her collaborator.
Mimi O’Donnell reflects on Phillip Seymour Hoffman, his very public death via overdose, and overcoming loss as a family of four.
In a stirring personal essay for Vogue, novelist Brit Bennett writes about the compression of time and the emotional toll of the months since the election of President Trump.
Serena Williams is planning on returning to the women’s tour to defend her Australian Open title, just three months after she gives birth. “It’s the most outrageous plan,” she says.
Mascia, a writer at The Trace, a nonprofit media organization focused on guns in the U.S., discusses her work and gun violence in her own family.
Two years ago, activist and WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison spirited Edward Snowden out of Hong Kong and into safety in Russia, but not before the pair spent nearly six weeks living in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
The writer on watching her parents fall in love three decades after their arranged marriage and what she learned from it:
I was 24, and deeply absorbed in my own dramas. I barely noticed how close my mother was sitting to my father at dinner at our favorite restaurant. They watched me with giddy smiles. Poor parents, I thought. So lonely when I’m not here. Then I saw them playing footsie under the table.
That night, after we’d all gone to sleep, I woke up to the sound of them laughing. “You!” my mother squealed. “No, you!” my father insisted. I’d never heard them speak that way to each other in my life. Were they . . . flirting? The next morning, just as I was beginning to think it had all been a strange dream, I walked into the kitchen, and my parents sprang to opposite corners, blushing.
The newly minted Grammy winner’s lows and highs—from throat surgery and heartbreak to the biggest-selling album of last year:
“Every singer knows the List: citrus, vinegar, mint, dairy, spicy or fried foods, fizzy drinks, caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol. These are the vocal cords’ enemies. And when one has a five-octave contralto as dynamic, award-winning, moneymaking, and record-breaking as Adele Laurie Blue Adkins does, one figures out how to avoid these things. Some require less effort than others. Mint? Vinegar? Feh. Cigarettes? Not so easy. Over the few days that I spend around Adele, I see her sneak a fag here and there. No one is perfect. But alcohol? For a once hard-drinking South London pub girl who has admitted that she has written some of her best songs after a few belts, I would have thought this might present something of a challenge. Not so much, it turns out. Adele hasn’t had a drink since last June.”
A few weeks into the race, Huntsman looks like a protest candidate—less a figure of the current Republican Zeitgeist than a canny challenger to his party’s orthodoxy. But his lack of traction thus far doesn’t feel exactly like failure. Running from behind brings a freedom to speak one’s mind, which can affect the political conversation for the better. Like Eugene McCarthy in 1968, Bruce Babbitt in 1988, and John McCain in 2000, Huntsman seems already to have become a media darling—a thinking person’s candidate whose candor shines a light on the evasions of his rivals, even if it fails to change the outcome of the race. If he performs credibly, Huntsman stands to emerge better known, with his national reputation enhanced, and—should Obama be reelected—well positioned to run in 2016.
I suddenly notice that Brown, who moments ago was rushing to get dressed to head back to her office, has buttoned her blouse crookedly. When I point it out, she says, “Oh, dear,” and then unbuttons and rebuttons it right in front of me. “I’m the kind of person who hits REPLY ALL when it’s really private and meant for one person. That’s the worst thing. I recently did that and wrote an e-mail to someone I work with, and I said, ‘Oh, my God, he’s such a sleazeball, we really have to keep our distance.’ And I sent it to the guy I was talking about! And he wrote back, ‘I think you will have no trouble keeping your distance from me.’ ”