Things

A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Grayson Morley

“When writing this story, I was thinking explicitly about a tendency in players to play games as murderous kleptomaniacs.”

Aug 17, 2018
How Brazil’s Madame Satã Transformed His Life and Became an Icon

By day, he protected businesses from thieves and corrupt police. By night, he changed into sequined gowns to sing and dance in Rio de Janeiro’s cabarets.

A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Celeste Mohammed

“My focus was on the character and emotions of the immigrant: the loneliness, the sense of loss and disconnection.”

Aug 15, 2018
Should We Stop Using the Word ‘Pariah’?

What do we do with language that is steeped in colonial history?

Aug 14, 2018
On Being Young, Scrappy, and (Sometimes) Satisfied

Remain forever hungry, or enjoy the tried-and-true? Sometimes, I learned, it’s okay to double down on the life you have.

Aug 13, 2018
You Bet Your Life: ‘Death Bonds,’ the Investments That Want You Dead

When a new drug regime gave him a renewed lease of life, Morrison began to receive irate calls from the investor who’d bought over his insurance policies.

Aug 02, 2018
“A Modern, Up-to-Date Young Woman”: Shopping, Fashion, and the Rules of My Girlhood

All the fashion rules I learned as a girl were informed by the view that women’s bodies are never okay as they are—they always need fixing.

Jul 26, 2018
Dreaming Machines: Fairy Tales in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

What, exactly, are the building blocks that make a fairy tale a fairy tale? And who—or what—might be making them in the future?

Jul 24, 2018
Obsidian and Finding the Truth Beneath the Surface

When we dress up, when we experiment, sometimes it’s because we are trying to discover who we are. But sometimes it’s because we already know and have nothing to hide.

Jul 23, 2018
When Scandal Swallows a Book

Marjorie Hillis's 1930s self-help bestseller, which celebrated women's happiness, met a strange fate in England.

Jul 19, 2018
How We Create Personal Myths (and Why They Matter)

My parental separation was vastly less traumatic than what is happening to children at the border. But this narrative lives inside me.

Jul 18, 2018
How Leslie Feinberg Became the Parent I Needed During My Transition

“I needed preparation, not protection. I needed to see myself as a part of history.”

Rent-a-Bee

No bodies were found; no predators were located.

Jul 03, 2018
Opals Are Said to Make Us Everything We Are All at Once, and There’s Nothing Scarier

I’ve been wondering what my edges really are, and finding they don’t exist. I feel myself shimmer with every conflicting thought.

Jun 25, 2018
How I Learned to Reconcile the Distance Between Experience and Memory

As my mother loses the ability to remember, I find myself playing with my own memory.

Jun 12, 2018
Take You Me For a Sponge?: How My Marriage Survived Illness and Caregiving

Sea sponges lack heart, lungs, and the ability to move. They perform their ancient tasks because they must.

Jun 06, 2018
Flour, Yeast, Water, and Salt: How Breadmaking Helped Me Get Through My Divorce

Breadmaking made me feel purposeful, instead of feeling as if I scarcely had control over anything.

Jun 05, 2018
Get Down to Work or God Help You: Reading Etty Hillesum

When Etty wrote to herself, I heard her speaking to me, and I took her words to heart.

May 22, 2018