Foreign Bodies

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.

Author: Raj Telhan
Source: VQR
Published: Dec 13, 2018
Length: 26 minutes (6,739 words)

The Weight of a Nickel

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.

Source: VQR
Published: Oct 8, 2018
Length: 21 minutes (5,426 words)

The News From the World of Beauty

When the personal is political, even the things we do to escape from politics become politics.

Source: VQR
Published: Jun 11, 2018
Length: 24 minutes (6,073 words)

Rosi’s Choice

When a young mother fleeing violence in El Salvador faces long odds for asylum, it raises a crucial question: Who deserves sanctuary in America?

Source: VQR
Published: Mar 1, 2018
Length: 33 minutes (8,457 words)

Out Came the Girls

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.

Author: Alex Mar
Source: VQR
Published: Sep 22, 2017
Length: 38 minutes (9,522 words)

In the Land of Vendettas That Go On Forever

For some northern Albanians, justice comes from vengeance. Sometimes vengeance keeps killing for generations.

Source: VQR
Published: Nov 8, 2017
Length: 31 minutes (7,871 words)

Blood Brother

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.

Source: VQR
Published: Aug 31, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,883 words)


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.”

Source: VQR
Published: Jul 1, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,022 words)

A Kingdom for a Horse: Kokpar and the Future of Kazakhstan

“[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.”

Author: Will Boast
Source: VQR
Published: Jul 3, 2017
Length: 20 minutes (5,100 words)

They Call It Canaan

In the aftermath of disaster, as new communities thousands-strong coalesce in the countryside around Port-au-Prince, Haitians ask: what makes a city?

Source: VQR
Published: Apr 3, 2017
Length: 29 minutes (7,451 words)