ARCHIVED ESSAYS & CREATIVE NON-FICTION
By Year of Publication, then Alphabetical by Author
A father's searing memoir about his beloved-but-troubled son's involvement in a murder-suicide, and the aftermath.
The author grew up uneventfully in America and Mexico as a child of Mexican and Lebanese parents, shuttling between cultures and social classes without a second thought. But an encounter with racism in Japan makes her think twice about her identity, and the human tendency to define others as either "us" or "them".
Imagine being a high school teacher, at your wit's end. Rachel Toliver doesn't have to imagine: "I told him that he was a waste of space. That fire door between teacher and person snapped open, letting my inferno in."
Social history, anthropology, and imagination all come into play in "Taínos at Large," Rosalie Morales Kearns' nuanced, quasi-fictional exploration of the brutal collision of Europeans, Africans and the Taínos native to Puerto Rico ... and the vital, subversive culture created by the union of the three.
You're a woman who used to be a man. You can't trust your new voice. You're not allowed to see your own children anymore. Your father has disowned you; he dies before you can reconcile. Make it work.
Okay, class: "Make an X. Stand on it. You are here."
A meditative discursion on history, Medicine Lodge poles, election poles, and trees.
An "educated virgin" shows us all how to play the "V" card, and how sex with a five-pound weight can foster a certain kind of honesty.
How do you write about an activity in which there is no transcendence, no accomplishment ... simply the pleasure of doing it? Bruce Fisher shows us how, in this perceptive essay on rowing.
What reading Nabokov is really like. (Bring the aspirin.)
The highly idiosyncratic first-person account of a young woman's encounter with another culture. Stylish, trippy, and passionate.
A prodigious pensée on the plight of prodigies: a pitch-perfect performance reminiscent of Elkin or Goldbarth's best.
The author gets lost in the medieval town of Djenné, near Timbuktu -- and wonders if her faith in humanity is justified.
The author takes a sea kayaking trip on Prince William Sound, and learns as much about the interior splendor of her chance companions as she does about the splendor of the scenery.
How Updike blew it reviewing The Garden of Eden, by Ernest Hemingway.
How a Mary Oliver poem can change your life.
A perceptive and moving essay of self-discovery about growing up worried that you're an odd duck
*All essays & creative non-fiction for 2004 are compiled here in PDF format.
Chosen Girl ▪► Faith S. Holsaert
Greenwich Village, circa 1950: a young girl is raised by her two mothers, one white, one black.
On Big Feet ▪► Martin Scott
Your feets too big! A meditation.
The Wisdom to Know the Difference ▪► Suzy Vitello
A sad, witty memoir of living with the addicted-but-functional, and with different forms of ambivalence.
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