On the Borderlands

Uniformed men on horseback, lassos at the ready, chase brown and black people stumbling in the surging water of the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas. The photographs shock. They call up long-buried images. Of the Ku Klux Klan night riding. Of patrollers chasing runaway slaves. Of Native Americans and the U.S. Cavalry at Wounded … More On the Borderlands

Literature as Witness

Witnessing doesn’t always mean expressing words out loud. Or even in written form. You act as a witness, every day, in one way or another, merely by living. Witnessing can be as simple as waking before the sun rises, shuffling to the kitchen, waiting while the coffee gurgles through the filter, peeling a bruised banana, … More Literature as Witness

A Dearth of Pleasure: The Curse of Modern Food Writing

Thankfully, the Millennium Bridge across the River Thames didn’t sway under my feet that day, giving lie to its other name, the Wobbly Bridge. But the chilling wind whipped at everything not tied down, painting a disagreeable redness on my nose and a deep-seated hunger in my belly. The aroma of roasting sugary peanuts floated … More A Dearth of Pleasure: The Curse of Modern Food Writing

“Gingerbread” Boys

We’re like the wicked witch. We promise gingerbread, then eat the little brats alive. ~ Orson Scott Card It didn’t take me long to realize that no handed-down family traditions existed in my family’s kitchen. None. It was as if everything foodwise emerged sui generis from Hydra’s head. And nowhere did that dearth of tradition … More “Gingerbread” Boys