Essays Archives - Page 4 of 110 - The Millions

June 29, 2017

Feminism, Glenn Close, and the Curse of the Crazy Woman 15

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At a time when American women can ascribe to feminism with comparatively little fanfare, insisting on one’s own humanity as a woman is still an act of monstrosity—one with which ugliness and craziness, the two things that women are supposed to fear most, is always elided.

June 29, 2017

Austerity and the British Library 5

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It is good if the public library appeals to seniors, but it is not good if seniors are the only people to whom a library appeals. New generations need to use their library, need to need their library, if the library is to remain inside the tightening circle of things the government will do for its people.

June 28, 2017

How I Learned to Start Driving (and Writing) 0

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It’s the starting, and the prospect of starting, and the thinking about how I will have to think about starting, that makes me want to vomit and die on the floor for a long time.

June 27, 2017

Doctors, Harp Lies, and Trump Talk 0

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On one afternoon, I saw four consecutive patients with no history of hypertension who all posted blood pressure recordings above standard values. Each blamed our recent banter about Donald Trump.

June 26, 2017

American Myth: The Short, Beautiful Life of Breece D’J Pancake 23

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The best American writer of his generation would have been sixty-five this week.

June 23, 2017

The Golden Arches of Nostalgia 2

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We’d walk into a McDonald’s and smell the familiar fried food and order the same burger and French fries and I’d taste the idea of home on my tongue. I would awake to the realization that this taste could be home.

June 21, 2017

How David Shields Turned Me Into a U.F.O. 3

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This is not a knock on Shields—or me—because all writers are free to choose their subject matter and use their source material as they see fit.

June 19, 2017

Returning to My People: Reading Tayeb Salih in the Suburbs 1

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In the same finished basement in the northern Virginia home where I spent so much of my childhood—playing eight-bit video games at sleepovers, sneaking down to watch soft-core cable porn, sitting at an electric typewriter and writing absurdist stories about my classmates—my father now hosts monthly book club meetings with his Sudanese friends.

June 16, 2017

Men in Small Rooms: In Search of Dad Lit 3

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I’m a man performing a role that gets coded as feminine, and I might be assuaging my insecurities about occupying such a marginalized position by spinning elaborate fantasies of masculine intellect and profundity.

June 15, 2017

How a Witch Cured My Writerly Envy 1

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The witch stood up and let out a piercing whistle while fervently shaking a gourd rattle, which I first mistook for a maraca. As she spoke, her voice changed, become low and growling and beautifully theatrical.