Essay

Selling the Sun King

Mass intimacy requires a dilution of one’s complexities. In order to become a celebrity, a person necessarily becomes a personage.

The Gift of Denis Johnson

For two years after one of my closest friends killed herself, I thought my grief and guilt were meant only to be handled privately. Tree of Smoke reeled me back into the world.

The McSorley Poet

My father’s stories come from a career behind the bar of New York’s oldest pub, among the alcoholics and loners and deviants who became his people and helped him find his voice as a writer.

The State of Black Mourning

For the past five centuries being black has meant collectively experiencing grief in ways that the rest of society does not understand and cannot fully comprehend.

Free the Roses

On the bloom of spectacular decline.

Makeup Is a Language of Resistance

Where I grew up, feminine boys were cautionary tales. I couldn’t explore my identity and remain a model queer boy, a boy who fits in.

Smurfette’s Roots

In her original incarnation, the only female Smurf reminds me of all the assumptions I’ve had to navigate about my sexuality and sense of self as a Jewish woman.

In Search of a New Way to Grieve

From public testimonies of grief to video game dispatches from the funeral industry, the way we think about death is changing. 

Meticulous Gloom

 The Victorian supernatural was a transparent manifestation of the period’s constant dialogue with death and dying.

The Essential Mundanity of Grief

I don’t know where or when I learned that I needed to curb any narcissistic tendency I might feel, even in grieving, but I most certainly caught on quick.