Cover Photo: This photograph is a collection of aesthetically pleasing pickle jars. We see cucumbers, asparagus, carrots, kimchi, and a few other varieties of cabbage, all lined up in colorful jars on a kitchen counter.
Photograph by Brooke Lark/Unsplash

Pickles Taught Me the Art of Self-Preservation

I was not suspended in a timeless brine like my pickles. I was not a stoic javelin of cellulose waiting to strike a bored palette. My answers would not be in rigidity, in control.

The Rugrats


what did I come here for?

Tell me your secrets. Teach me permanence, how to bear hardship, how to nourish people in lean times. Make me too sour for defeat, give me a chilled and quiet strength.

Maybe I’ll cut it next week,

Ash Huang is a Chinese American writer based in San Francisco. She is a Tin House Workshop and Periplus Fellowship alum, and her essays have appeared in Fast Company and elsewhere. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @ashsmash, or at