Dorothy Bendel

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Dorothy Bendel's writing has appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Believer, Literary Hub, Catapult, The New York Times, and additional publications. Find her at or @DorothyBendel.


Cover Photo: colorful illustration featuring a blond-haired girl in a pink shirt and green pants embracing a tree with a face visible in the trunk, other children in the background
No One Is Waiting to Steal Your Joy

Growing up with abuse, I came to see the experience of joy as inseparable from the threat that it would all soon be undone.

Jul 29, 2021
Cover Photo: image from the back of a young woman with long dark blond/light brown hair looking in a bathroom mirror, the top part of her head obscured
“Bloody Mary” and Other Things Only Spoken of in the Dark

I try to talk openly about everything that was shrouded in mystery when I was growing up. I try to take the distorted sense of my younger self and change her shape.

Jun 30, 2021
Cover Photo: photograph of a row of five broom heads in a line, bristles down, sitting on a purple wooden bench against a white wall
What Moving During a Pandemic Taught Me About the Meaning of Home

My grandmother once told me that bringing bread into a home means that its residents will never go hungry.

Apr 27, 2021
Cover Photo: closeup photograph of a bird with red, white, and brown markings sitting on a ledge, with strands of hair in its beak
Can a Bird and Its Nest Really Bring Bad Luck?

Some think good luck or bad luck is with us from birth—though our luck might change if a winged creature steals a strand of our hair.

Mar 24, 2021
Cover Photo: illustration of a mother and son, both masked, walking through fog around pillars on a city street
Say “Bread and Butter” and Stick Together

If a pair, walking together, is forced to pass on opposite sides of some obstacle, they should say “bread and butter” or risk a permanent separation.

Feb 22, 2021
Cover Photo: Photograph by Scott Umstattd/Flickr
A Recipe for Survival

Your stomach hurts because all you’ve eaten this week is frozen yogurt—but it is a hurt you can bear more than hunger.

Oct 25, 2018
Cover Photo: Tallulah Pomeroy
Body Wash: Instructions on Surviving Homelessness

“If contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water so hot it sheds all the layers of who you once were and reveals someone new.”

Oct 06, 2017