I can barely take how good Matthew Salesses is on adoption (1, 2, 3), a fraught and complex subject if you are not adopted, but if you are, which Salesses is (as am I), it can be a wicked fiery hell of conflicted and conflicting emotions at almost every turn. So for Salesses to be able to write about it with such kick-in-the-gut clarity and nuance and narrative imagination kind of leaves me in awe.
Because Roxane Gay serves elegant wisdom every time, but this wisdom is peak elegance: “Avoid creating a hierarchy of human suffering as if compassion were a finite resource.”
Girl in Glass by Deanna Fei — this memoir is so starkly, poignantly written, so smart and wrenching, and I just had a truly visceral response to both the story and to Fei’s fierce, plain mother love throughout.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is about as good a meditation on race and America and blackness and reality as you’re going to get. Really ever. In the history of ever.
Although this meditation on blackness, in particular, that of our President of the United States, is pretty magnificently grand: “We’ve kinda suspected it before, but President Obama genuinely gives no fucks at this point. He is fuck devoid. Fuck deficient. Fuck deprived. Fuck destitute. His cupboard of fucks is barren; his tank of fucks has been depleted. You know how, on cloudy nights, you might look up into the vast and endless sky and not find any stars? The same thing would happen if you looked at Obama and searched for fucks. And this, this total absence of fucks, is where pop off came from.”
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