Essays

Killing Joke

Some things you fall for a little too fast and a little too hard. Not that long ago, a novelist friend urged this novel on me, the way your novelist friends are wont to do. “You’ll like it,” he said ...

How Haiti Got Free

I vividly remember the rush I felt after my first encounter with the story of the Haitian Revolution. It was a sudden and miraculous sense that everything was not as it seemed ...

Baldwin’s Children

James Baldwin’s recently reissued picture book, Little Man, Little Man, positions itself within a larger textual world. In this sweet and lively story of four-year-old TJ and his friends on a summer ...

And Cuba Shall Lead Them

In an era when, history textbooks contend, the United States lurched to the right, Gus Newport presided over an unapologetically leftist government in the San Francisco Bay Area. If the region has a ...

Power, Poison, Pain, and Joy

Sitting atop a police car beneath an oversized American flag, Kendrick Lamar opened the 2015 BET awards with his single “Alright.” “We hate the po-po ...

The Future of Migration

In 2008, in a town of about 2,000 people, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained 389 workers and charged them with civil immigration violations and identity theft. The Bush ...

Afterlife of the Troubles

In December 1972, 38-year-old Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10, was abducted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), never to be seen alive by her children again. Her remains weren’t ...

Millennials in Beattieland

No word haunts discussions of Ann Beattie like the word generation. Once upon a time, back when novelists still had the luxury of holding their publicity at a ...

“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 ...