The Weekend Essay

shutterstock_284138189.jpg

A Low and Distant Paradise

The history of Eritrea and Eritreans in the 21st century has stopped being one of how to win, but of how we might lose the least by the end of the century’s first quarter.

shutterstock_181258022.jpg

Calling My Work What It Is

The difference between “escort” and “prostitute” is that one term relies on euphemistic window dressing while the other is unapologetic and unashamed.

GettyImages-3301729

The Art of Loving and Losing Female Friends

Friendship is not a pale imitation of sexual romance. It is a romance unto itself.

shutterstock_276524114.jpg

Slow Poison

Even if the police don’t kill me, a lifetime of preparing for them to just might.

buffy-feature.jpg

A Show About Outsiders, for Outsiders

Books and movies can provide our own private oasis, but also a way to find communion with others. And there’s something special in discovering a fictional universe in which outsiders come together.

shutterstock_17041651.jpg

Familial Brains

If the unwelcome death of her uncle taught Emily Mullin anything it's that our lives are transient and largely out of our control.

2608593628_2905fd89c9_o.jpg

Thanksgiving in Tilden Park: A Kind of Homecoming

After living the unfamiliar for so long, the idea of home becomes powerfully linked with an oversimplified image of American life.

faves.jpg

Subsisting on the Faves

Posting teen angst poetry and being part of an active commenting community helped Christine Friar digest the garden-variety pain of growing up, and—unbeknownst to her at the time—curbed the loneliness of being raised by one sick parent and one caretaker parent.

A_dead_whale_at_Ocean_Beach.jpg

This Last of Meeting Places

Confronting our mortality with vague metaphors, religious glosses, and computer analogies.

15114018466_2332c88818_o.jpg

The Thing About Victory Stories

We all desire the three-minute montage, with a completely new you revealed at the end. But that's not how it works. Re-invention is grueling and painful and often dreadfully boring.

snowflake-lead.jpg

All Snowflakes Look the Same

After I moved to Wisconsin to pursue an education, other people’s racial perceptions began to pursue me.

shutterstock_229144723.jpg

The Missing

As a kid, Rachael Maddux thought she could shut herself away from the reality of death. Instead, through Reader’s Digest, she came face to face with the fragility of life.

shutterstock_171293873.jpg

Death With Dignity

After two and a half decades of heart attacks, strokes, heavy drinking, chain smoking, and, finally, cancer, my grandfather decided to end his life at 76. The whole family gathered to watch.

moscow-focus

How I Learned to Stop Pretending and Fear the Bomb

Fifteen years after surviving a terrorist attack in Moscow, I finally came to terms with how deeply the experience had affected me.

church-pews

At Home With the Noonday Demon

The common misperception of religion as a crutch would have us believe that people are faithful because they want to escape the problems of the world and the realities of everyday life. But my faith tells me the importance of staying put.

locked-door

Distance Between a Mother and Daughter as the Solution

"The devastation kept me away, but the guilt kept bringing me back, ready for another round."

diabetes

My Vice Is Hypoglycemia: Living With Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is physically taxing and its maintenance exhausting, but I've learned to live with my self-afflicting body.