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Category Archives: Non-Fiction

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Consider the Door

Over lunch in June 1994, my first month as a judge, my colleague Gordon spread Dijon mustard across the landscape of his sandwich, making sure that not the smallest dollop fell from the crust. The governor had appointed him to the bench a month before

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WASP

White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, to which I regretfully belong, all said the same thing to me last Sunday. The three of us had been sitting in a back pew (a compromise between my evasive, ungodly influence and their exhaustion over fighting me about the non-biblical specifics

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Unsettling

“I just wish I could get settled,” my mother would say. And then she’d move. That year, we knew immediately: we would not be settled. That year—September 1966 to June 1967, nine months of gestation for leave-takings—remains in my memory as absolutely distinct, sharply delineated,

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Evidence of Existence

My first year of college in Los Angeles, I got into the habit of dying my hair—purple, turquoise, flamingo pink, cherry pink—before I could realize that it was my subconscious way of coping with the cultural and physical adjustments. Shui tu bu fu, the Chinese

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Top Hand

JOCK STAYED IN A RED CEDAR-SIDED HOUSE. It was planted on land where he and Louise had settled decades earlier in the 1950s. The house was modest, with a roomy basement for Louise’s quilting, and bedrooms down there for when grandchildren came to visit. The

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Let Me Be Frank

There is extensive scarring beneath the left knee. The ankle does not function properly, leaving the foot rigid and inflexible. Between us, the leg in question is affectionately called “the child’s leg”. It is strikingly thin, we agree. Standing up – especially after a long

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Sickness Will Surely Take the Mind

“Don’t you remember?” my mother asked. “You were out of school for most of seventh and eighth grade. You had Mrs. Colletti for a tutor.” “Look in that cabinet,” she said, pointing to a tin box near the television. “There’s a red book. I’ve recorded

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Maybe They’re Home Now

Death is my greatest fear, bully, and teacher. He will appear suddenly or sometimes expectedly, like an angry hornet that flies into your open car window as you’re driving down an empty stretch of road. Hopefully, it will fly right back out with a gust

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Bachelorette Party

There is something excruciating about the rare experience of a bachelorette party when you’re in your mid-thirties. Gone are the days of putting on your slinkiest dress and a sash that says  “Bachelorette Party” (but that means “Buy me a drink, I’m not the one

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A Wider Lens

As I pass through my living room, a story in progress on CNN catches my attention. It’s December 2020 and the youngest member-elect of Congress, Madison Cawthorn, a 25-year-old Republican from North Carolina, is mid-apology for referring to Hitler as “Der Fuhrer.” Three years earlier,