Memoir & Essay

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The Addict’s Journey

The Addict’s Journey

BY THE TIME I was born in Jackson, Mississippi (1985), Kevin Sessums had long left the Magnolia State’s kudzu-blanketed highways for the culture and promise of New York. At 23 (in 2008) I sat at the...

I Don’t Need to Write Anything Down Ever Again

I Don’t Need to Write Anything Down Ever Again

IN HER NEW BOOK Ongoingness, just published by Graywolf, Sarah Manguso, the author of two books of poetry, a collection of short stories, and two other books of nonfiction, confronts a decades-long n...

A Drink (or Four) With Kent Russell

A Drink (or Four) With Kent Russell

A GOOD BAR, according to Kent Russell, fulfills two criteria. “Number one is that you can’t actually see my face that well. And the second criterion is that the BSC — the Beer Shot Combo, excus...

Writing Is Key

Writing Is Key

HERE’S THE THING — the amazing thing — about reading Abigail Thomas (I’m thinking of her memoirs, though she’s also the author of a novel and two story collections): you’re likely to come...

I Am a Fucking Plagiarist

I Am a Fucking Plagiarist

Art is theft. — Pablo Picasso   BEFORE I HAD anything to say, I had the desire to say something. No, let me revise that. I had the desire to be heard. A family legend is that at the a...

Bernard Cooper on Art and Life

Bernard Cooper on Art and Life

A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO I reviewed a Roy Lichtenstein retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago for Tablet, the online magazine. The editors, without running it by me before the piece appeared, made...

Fog Chaser

Fog Chaser

FOG IS A CLICHÉD METAPHOR for memory, part of the collective imagination. But don’t clichés come from truth, after all? In his debut memoir, Kyle Boelte sits in the San Francisco fog and tries to ...

Grief Is a Two-Way Street

Grief Is a Two-Way Street

WHILE THE ISLAND NATION was still reeling from the devastation of the 2011 tsunami, Marie Mutsuki Mockett traveled to Japan to learn how to cope with overwhelming loss. Shaken by the unexpected death ...

Immigrant Lessons

Immigrant Lessons

WHEN IRA SUKRUNGRUANG turned five years old, his father bought him a bicycle. Not a tricycle. Not a bike with training wheels, but rather an uncompromising two-wheeler, which he commanded his son to r...

Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies

WRITING ABOUT Dennis Rodman’s forays into diplomacy earlier this year, director of the Choson Exchange, Andray Abrahamian, reminded readers that, “in media discourse, North Korea is the classic en...

Finding Words

Finding Words

WHEN I WAS in my 20s I was sure that I would die of a broken heart. My Cuban mother brought me to the only person she thought could fix it: Margaríta. Margaríta knew things. She was also a Cubana, a...

Closing the Circle

Closing the Circle

AFTER HIS FATHER’S DEATH in 2007, Marcos Giralt Torrente read sundry memoirs “for inspiration,” as he prepared to write Tiempo de vida, his award-winning book about personal loss and the final y...