To learn the craft, I’d just written random stories, whatever came into my head, attempting to storify any thought as practice for figuring out what works and what doesn’t. But just writing whatever wasn’t really being a writer. A writer, it seemed to me at the time, was someone with a creative or intellectual project that lasted not the length of a story but over years of writing many different things.
We are expats and nomads. We are products of multiple countries. We run away from places that don’t feel quite right, only to never find where we belong. These stories celebrate the journey of returning to (or discovering) our roots, and the elusive, ever-evolving concept of home.
On the lives of Soviet cosmonauts—and circus performers: During the first ninety-six-day Salyut mission in 1978, cosmonaut Yury Romanenko was apparently so mesmerized by the vastness of the cosmos that he stepped out to have a better look and forgot to attach himself with safety tethers to the space station. Fortunately his cohort noticed and […]
[Fiction, not single-page] A lawyer can’t stop walking: He worked past ten most nights, and most nights found him sufficiently absorbed in something that required only the turn of a page or the click of a mouse — too little activity for the sensors to register. The lights frequently switched off on him. He’d look […]
(Not single-page) A writer recalls the disappearance of her adopted cat, and links the event to other experiences of loss in her life. Six months after Gattino disappeared my husband and I were sitting in a restaurant having dinner with some people he had recently met, including an intellectual writer we both admired. The writer […]
[Fiction, not single-page] A father, his sons, and what he teaches them: When we got home from school Paps was in the kitchen, cooking and listening to music and feeling fine. He whiffed the steam coming off a pot, then clapped his hands together and rubbed them briskly. His eyes were wet and sparkled with […]
[Fiction] A family of children escape starvation in North Korea: The day the siblings left to find their mother, snow devoured the northern mining town. Houses loomed like ghosts. The government’s face was everywhere: on the sides of a beached cart, above the lintel of the post office, on placards scattered throughout the surrounding mountains […]
[Fiction] Mother comes back one evening and she starts up at supper about feng shui, how our house isn’t organized for a happy life, how the front door should never line up with the back door like ours does – never. One of her colleagues in Parks and Recreation told her that. They’re all dipshits […]