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Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Village Voices

Best Of The 11th Street Ruse

Finally I stepped out, looking as elegant as I ever have, in electric blue silk, my hair stylishly vertical. R. whispered, “You look so Republican.” (A week later, he finally apologized.)

Saying Its Name

When Illness Is A Secret

I swore to hate the woman who told me to undress, who sat me on the examining table, and who took my father away to talk with him outside my presence. I hated her for her chilly brusqueness, for having seen me in my underpants, and for having mentioned within earshot the words cystic fibrosis.

Speaking From The Body

I go to readings where writers stand there, in their bodies, laughing and getting choked up as they read what they’ve written about experiences they’ve had, in those same bodies, and I think: I could never do that. I could reveal my life in my stories or I could reveal my body in person, but no way could I ever show myself that much in my body.

Lighting The Candles

Because she is old, my mother performs the Sabbath ritual very slowly. Sitting in front of the brass candlesticks given to her by her mother, she looks as if God is pressing down hard on the top of her head. Her face juts forward, and the top of her back is rounded. Because she is demented and her short-term memory is shot, it’s impossible to have a conversation with her.

Fiction

Thirteen

I ’m kneeling in the foyer lacing my sister’s boot when I hear my mom muttering in the hallway. This time it’s not about the shoes in the living room or my father’s late child support. She’s talking about me. “Thirteen,” she says, “and you think you’re all grown up.”

The Blessing

“It’s part of the aging process. Like sun-dried tomatoes. They taste more and more tomato-like the more shriveled they get. I’m just becoming more and more myself. You call it a caricature; I prefer to think of it as a distillation.”

Readers Write

Graduation

A secret admirer, a new mother, a kind motorist

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

What used to be called liberal is now called radical, what used to be called radical is now called insane, what used to be called reactionary is now called moderate, and what used to be called insane is now called solid conservative thinking.

Tony Kushner

More Quotations ▸
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