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Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Earth Perfected

But then I accidentally bite into one of the sour, acrid parts of quarantine. It’s easy to forget, when you live four hundred miles away, that your mother’s temper can be sparked by something as benign as family movie night or a run-in with the Hertz rental-car dealership.

By Emma Dale July 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

My Brother’s Dinner With The President Of Sears

After this friend left, I excused myself to go to the bathroom, where I shut the door and fell to my knees, shaking and crying. I wished that my brother had been different. And I wished that I had been more forgiving and compassionate. I wished that everything between us had been different. I was on that floor for a while.

By Marc Inman July 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Unknowing

Watching my wife, I have finally found the key to the map. I understand why men have spent millennia constructing systems to strip the power from this body: Look how she pulls her spine up to the sky. Look how effortlessly she strings herself between the ordinary and the divine.

By Laura Steele June 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

What Clouds

When I need to think, I clean. I sort and organize. I give away scores of possessions. In my mind I repeat the word away, away, away. I need clear, open space before I can even begin to understand the latest problem I’ve conjured for myself.

By Meg Thompson June 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Ghost Dogs

What happened next I shoveled into that dark ditch of my psyche, and then I covered it with heavy stones, and it wasn’t until more than twelve years had passed that I remembered what I’d made myself forget.

By Andre Dubus III June 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

City Bus, Country Bus

In a bus, bumping elbows with messy humanity, I create memories that will bolster me for life. Our lives, as the author of Job reminds us, are short and full of trouble. The best we can do is connect, share a smile over this gift of existence.

By Kelly Daniels May 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

What I Lived For

When I was young, I lived for what I thought of as “lyrical moments,” when the details of life were suddenly heightened and approached the transcendent. . . . Of course, if you live long enough, you start thinking more and more not about the lyrical but rather about time. . . . I am living to stay alive.

By Richard McCann May 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Inheritance

I would like to give you a metaphor that describes what it’s like to potentially pass on to one’s children a pathogenic variant that will possibly go on to kill them, but everything I am coming up with is histrionic.

By Debbie Urbanski May 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Surviving Documents

In the video he is an energetic storyteller relating episodes of great violence in a can-you-believe-it tone better suited to recounting a kooky incident out running errands. There is also the Yiddish tide of his syntax, which deposits nouns in unexpected places, like a rocking chair found sitting on the roof of a toolshed after a flood.

By Rich Bellis May 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Lovely Harry, Philip Larkin, And Me

At the end of our weekly sessions, as I’m about to walk out the door, I hand The Lovely Harry a manila envelope of poems I’ve written that week. Some weeks it’s a thin envelope; other weeks the pages inside push against the seams with their folded energy.

By Paula Harris April 2021