The Year in Giving Up

Here are four things I gave up this year. 

The Year in Conspiracy Theories

This year, we have witnessed the mainstreaming of the idea that most, perhaps all, things are being orchestrated by shadowy forces outside of our control.

Holiday on the Icy Golden Hell-Staircase

Thousands of Gold Rush prospectors climbed the Chilkoot, and many lost their lives. In the grand tradition of Dark Tourism, I decided to join the 2,500 people who now hike it for fun every summer.

The Year in Slime Videos

By all accounts, 2016 was an abysmal year. That’s why I found myself losing hours on Instagram to soothing images of slime. 

‘Stop and See How Much Darkness There Is’: An Interview with Iain Reid

Talking with the author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things about the move from memoir to fiction, capturing the anxiety and insecurity of new relationships, and the darkness of Canadian country roads.

The Year in Lifting Weights

I hated myself when I benched 405, agonized over form while squatting 500, and regretted the first 33 years of my life even as I deadlifted 650. I had never lifted heavier or been unhappier.

‘We Live with a Legacy of Great Violence and Fear’: An Interview with Christy Ann Conlin

Speaking with the author of The Memento about assault narratives, ghost stories and the healing work of fiction. 

The Year in Sports At the End of the World

Fandom allows us to locate some much-needed normalcy without ever accepting the current state of things as normal. 

A User’s Guide to Zadie Smith

Whether writing about Brexit or defining the painful and ecstatic parameters of joy, Smith has a near preternatural understanding of the fictions we repeat to ourselves in order to function daily.

The Year in Addition and Subtraction

Throughout my twenties and thirties I made dark jokes about the life expectancy of my breasts.