Lost & Found: On Reading Rebecca West
"All of this is to say that when I picked up The Fountain Overflows, I knew what I loved about West’s writing: her spare way of tracing a character’s interiority, anchoring meaning to a revelatory gesture, and her keen eye for how femininity functioned in a world increasingly aware of a diversity of female desires." Tin House, Issue #70, Winter Reading.
Found in translation
"She sat at the table with her purse strap still slung across her shoulder and the bag in her lap. Every ten minutes or so over the next three hours, the strap slipped down toward her knees and she would grab at it with clumsy fingers, first one minute after it had fallen, then four, then ten, as if the more she talked about her situation the slower the impulse arrived at her hand. The strap always made it back up to her shoulder." The Threepenny Review, Fall 2016
ART IN THE TIME OF POLITICS
On art, optimism, change, the lack of change, and artist Tania Bruguera. Virginia Quarterly Review, Fall 2015; Notable, Best American Travel Writing 2016.
The Art of Participation
"In 1826, when a German archaeologist named Mattheus Eisenacher finally discovered the cuneiform tablets he’d been searching for in northern Iraq, he’d already spent four years digging, finding nothing, convinced of his own failure." Essay on transformative German archaeologists & Pablo Helguera's participatory performance art, A Public Space, Winter 2015. PDF here. Notable, Best American Essays 2016.
Take Your Daughter to Work Day
A personal essay on growing up with a (wonderful) food writer for a (wonderful) mother. McSweeney's Lucky Peach #13, Winter 2014.
Michel Pérez Pollo's Paintings
"A lump of modeling clay is not a human, not when it’s sculpted into a bust in likeness of someone the artist knew and less so when it’s still a lemon-yellow ball of clay with a lumpy right side, as if its shaper got a bit of bad news while worrying it with his hands and pressed too hard with a stray index finger." Introduction to Turner's monograph on Cuban artist Michel Pérez.
Yanet's Vintage Emporium
Under the Table
Learning to eat in Havana the black-market way. Guernica, August, 2011.