Memoir & Essay

RECENT REVIEWS

Eating off the Grid

Eating off the Grid

AVA CHIN is a New York writer whose debut memoir, Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal, was published in May. Chin has learned to see the world with what she calls “fora...

An Accidental Reckoning

An Accidental Reckoning

AT FIRST Krista Bremer’s memoir, My Accidental Jihad, would appear to be a chronicle of the author’s relationship with her husband, a tale of overcoming differences and learning to compromise. Eve...

Inconvenient Feelings

Inconvenient Feelings

YOU’RE GETTING OLD, or older anyway. You’ve maybe had children, bought a house. You’ve built a career. You’ve strengthened your core and learned to like kale. You’ve quit drinking, quit smok...

In Praise of Interruption

In Praise of Interruption

WERE E. B. WHITE alive and writing today, I wonder if he would use an iPhone at his beloved lake in Maine, sending videos and photos to Facebook and Instagram of his son kicking ferociously at the wat...

Ghost Race

Ghost Race

SPORTS, psychologists have long understood, are like languages. If exposed as children we acquire native fluency, and the laborious, complex movements required for swimming or ice-skating or horseback...

An Essayist of the Old School

An Essayist of the Old School

I ONCE HEARD poet Seamus Heaney and his wife, Marie, elaborating a droll array of distinctions between kinds of drinkers at parties. So and so — they looked cautiously around for effect — was a ...

The Savage Desire to Know More: On Ben Watt

The Savage Desire to Know More: On Ben Watt

IN HIS INDISPENSABLE INTRODUCTION to The Art of the Personal Essay, Phillip Lopate warns against “unproblematically self-assured, self-contained, self-satisfied” essayists who produce shallow, sug...

The Writer in Pieces

The Writer in Pieces

Let me write fragments without finishing them — at least I’m writing! Even so, this is literature of a kind, in a sense perhaps the only kind. Perhaps it’s impossible for a psychological type li...

Maximal Anxiety

Maximal Anxiety

THE NEW YORKER'S editor David Remnick has dubbed Roz Chast “the magazine's only certifiable genius," but to some of the magazine’s readers, she is just another cartoonist in the stable of reg...

Disney, Autism, and Whatever Works

Disney, Autism, and Whatever Works

MY SON HENRY, who is six and has Down syndrome, has been a fan of the Muppets for most of his life. When we let him, he’ll watch Muppet Show DVDs for hours at a time. He can recite entire sketches w...

Like Children

Like Children

Why do we desire to die so much?Because we desire to say so much.       — Hélène Cixous, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing […] when the scriptures say that “they were both naked, and ...

How to Be a Mother

How to Be a Mother

BY SPRING of my internship year I was exhausted, I’d gained 10 pounds, and my periods had stopped. I assumed that months of 36-hour hospital shifts fueled by coffee and vending machine candy had fin...