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Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Hat

“You found it?” I could tell my answer had pleased him. By then the cashier was ready for me. The checkout had two conveyor belts, and I pushed my cart around to the belt on the opposite side, relieved to be out of close proximity to the man, who now stood across from me.

By Susan Bruns January 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Such Gifts

He tells me how Mom’s rabbi tried to convince him that life has a purpose, but my brother wasn’t having it. Existence is a tapestry of chaos, he writes, that we impose meaning on to give our lives purpose.

By Brittany Ackerman January 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Anger Management

Dr. B. spun a finger in the air, his signal to let the games begin. I think I called Michael a “no-good fucking loser,” a put-down one of my bosses had once leveled at me. I watched Michael’s hands form fists and the whites of his eyes get bigger.

By Mishele Maron January 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Stranger Kin

I don’t recall now if he barked, if he made a sound. How did it happen, that the rest came? They must have been summoned somehow. But it so happened that another dog appeared, lumbering toward us, followed by another, and a third and fourth, until there were five dogs gathered on the rocks. Five huge Istanbul dogs.

By Wiam El-Tamami December 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Macho Baby

I know that what we call hate is sometimes love that was pushed under a rock, love deprived of light and water. “Tell me to what you pay attention,” writes the philosopher José Ortega y Gasset in his book Man and Crisis, “and I will tell you who you are.” How much love is putrefying inside boys this very moment, starved for nourishment?

By Nicole Lipson December 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Abandon All Expectations

The fish is now thrashing at the surface. Unlike every other captain I have seen, Cuervo uses a net, not a gaff, to bring it aboard. He has enough experience to know that, by the time a full-grown yellowtail is brought to the boat, it has essentially fought itself to death. Rich lets the captain take over, and Cuervo handles the marvelous creature with a tenderness that has been missing from most of my charter-fishing experiences.

By David Zoby December 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

His Body Of Work

I loved my father’s body. It worried me, too. . . . I didn’t know what polio was, but it sounded scary, and he had survived it. This helped form my view of him as someone who could survive almost anything. Like Wile E. Coyote, he might get hurt and maimed, but he never, ever gave up.

By Doug Crandell November 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Letter From Sy’s Desk

In January my implausible idea of working at the magazine for fifty years will have come to pass, and I will comfortably step into a new role as editor emeritus. That having been said, it’s hard for me to say goodbye.

By Sy Safransky November 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Salmonella Special

In twelve months I hadn’t set foot in a supermarket, hadn’t compared the prices of two brands of bread, hadn’t stood in a checkout line to buy anything, not even a pack of Tic Tacs. Everything I ate had been thrown away. Everything I ate, I’d found first.

By Anders Carlson-Wee October 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Nail Salon

Some people remember childhood bike rides and ice-cream sundaes; I remember acetone and moon-slivers of nails.

By Gabrielle Trinh October 2023
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