Cover Photo: This photograph shows the Great Wall of China, stretching over green mountains on a blue-sky, white-cloud filled day. There are many people walking on the wall, appearing as small colorful spots along the walkways.
Photograph by Melissa/Unsplash

Excerpt from ‘Wanting: A Memoir of Marriage, Patriarchy, and Privilege’

This memoir excerpt was written by Erin Branning in Megan Stielstra’s 12-Month memoir Generator

Wanting: A Memoir of Marriage, Patriarchy, and Privilege,

The Great Wall Marathon, May 16, 2009

Yin and Yang Square, Huangyaguan Fortress, The Great Wall of China


ni haohello

I feel like I can’t do anything right. I feel like there are landmines everywhereyou’re the one stepping on them.

Erin Branning is a fiction editor for TriQuarterly, Northwestern’s literary journal, where she’s published interviews with Ben Fountain and Lily King. Erin has also had work published in Manifest-Station, LitBreak, Delmarva Review and Hippocampus.

Erin holds an MFA from Northwestern University, a BA in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her four children and is currently working on a memoir, Wanting: A Memoir of Marriage, Patriarchy, and Privilege, from which this essay is adapted.