Essays

“We Forgot Our Names”

“Most of the time, they changed your name into a number—they called you ABC1, ABC2,” explains Hani Abdile about the time she spent interned in one of Australia’s notorious immigration detention camps ...

Bake, Britannia

Eighteen years ago, in Borneo, Kelly Wiglesworth told a camera crew that she didn’t come to make friends, she came to win. This iconic moment from Survivor defined much of the nearly two decades of reality TV that would follow ...

Sinkholes and Saviors

Few writers would dare to pick as the title of a collection of 11 short stories the name of a state that is home to 21 million people, more than a million alligators, countless snakes, and a few ...

Tabloid War, Class War

Respectability is overrated. Or so said Gawker, the influential, controversial, and luridly entertaining news and gossip site that was forced to close in 2016. Covering stories that other media ...

On Christopher Street Pier

This month, Public Books mourns the loss of the writer, teacher, and editor Ellis Avery to leiomyosarcoma, a rare uterine cancer. Ellis’s essay about a beloved ...

Dancing Queer Children

Fans of Dance Moms and of RuPaul’s Drag Race alike rejoiced when Netflix debuted Dancing Queen this past fall. As Abby Lee Miller—the Dance Moms teacher and queen of my heart—frequently and ...

Turkey’s “Ghost Empire”

A Turkish academic I once met in a provincial Anatolian city insisted to me that Turkey is a country where a lot goes unsaid, a place where much is buried, and where fairy tales are told to hide a ...