Love, Labor, Loss

First, a confession: In 2011, I penned a pseudonymous article under the name Sally Racket (an anagram of Crystal Lake) for The Chronicle of Higher Education’s advice column. I’ve never publicly owned my authorship of “Survivor’s Guilt,” which describes how, well, guilty I felt when I learned that I’d finally landed a tenure-track job in English […]

Psycho (But Cute)

I used to think my emotional baseline was crazy, and even crazier that one week (if I’m lucky) out of the month when I’m in thrall to the indifferent mercy of the premenstrual cycle. During that week, in a condition of “existential disorientation,” to borrow Stephen Ahern’s words, I would gain, albeit temporarily, extraordinary powers […]

William Hay; Or, An Obsession

Put more poetically, disabilities are the etchings left on flesh as it encounters the world. — Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, “The Case for Conserving Disability” And I am a good Subject of Speculation; for all in me is Nature…—  William Hay, Deformity: An Essay This essay is about an obsession, one that is now almost a decade old. I remember […]


‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all – Tennyson, “In Memoriam” Tennyson. I’ve never wanted to believe him here. Out of context, his statement feels like the kind of cold-comfort-yoga-self-help advice you’d share with a friend, in a dark moment, when what that friend really wants is a hug […]

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