“The term “inner city” has never provided an accurate map of racialized urban poverty—what’s inner about a geography that drifts with the people it stigmatizes?—but I’ve always found it vaguely spiritual, as if the city carries a secret close to its heart, and only poor people are privy to it.”
Immigration law isn’t keeping up with reproductive technology — it’s hamstringing the citizenship rights of children not born to married, fertile, heterosexual parents, and showing us that marriage equality in the U.S. isn’t equal in all ways.
At Virginia Quarterly Review, Sarah Smarsh looks at the high price of the American Dream through the lens of her upbringing as a member of a working poor farm family in Kansas.
When the personal is political, even the things we do to escape from politics become politics.
When a young mother fleeing violence in El Salvador faces long odds for asylum, it raises a crucial question: Who deserves sanctuary in America?
To find belonging, teen girls sometimes form obsessive friendships to fend off the isolation that puberty brings at the twilight of their childhood. In this exceptionally well-researched piece, Alex Mar recalls two real-life events in which teen-girl duos became murderous and why these obsessive friendships devolved into a pact to do evil.
For some northern Albanians, justice comes from vengeance. Sometimes vengeance keeps killing for generations.
Sarah Smarsh writes about how rich drug companies buy plasma from the poor and working poor — literally feeding their wealth with one of the few renewable resources the poor have to sell — their blood.
After a heart attack (perhaps two heart attacks), Jeff Sharlet searches for meaning in his own mortality, “This brilliant darkness, with which I am coming to terms.”
“[N]owhere in this region is the contrast between the contemporary and the ancient higher than in Kazakhstan. And nowhere is the interplay between the two more starkly embodied than in professional Kazakh kokpar.”