Corrected: Anime and identity, desire and monstrosity, and scarcity in Silesia

Hello, subscribers. Yesterday there was a wrong link under the Guernica story at the bottom. Here is an updated version of the newsletter with the correct link. My apologies for the error!

Welcome back to Memoir Monday—a weekly newsletter and a quarterly reading series, brought to you by NarrativelyThe RumpusCatapultGrantaGuernica, and Literary Hub. Each personal essay in this newsletter has been selected by the editors at the above publications as the best of the week, delivered to you all in one place. 

We’re considering ways to expand aspects of this newsletter in the near future. Subscribe and follow us on Twitter at @memoirmonday for updates!

FMA and Me: Reckoning With Anime as Japanese and American

by Nina Coomes (Art by Bones Studio/JNN)

“Sometimes I wonder if I would have watched as much anime as I did if I hadn’t grown up in the United States. If I’d lived my whole life in Japan, everything on television would have been Japanese: the news, dramas, baseball games, each noisy and colorful commercial. I wouldn’t have found myself lonely in front of the television set, relegated to only anime when I wanted to hear the language spoken."

Read more at Catapult

In All the History of Wanting

by Lishani Ramanayake (art by Liz Asch)

"As a child, I wanted to erase the stillness that hung between my parents, the silent sadness that filled the house I grew up in. I wanted my family to be enough for my mother, and my want eclipsed hers. I wanted her to stop wanting for herself, and when she didn’t, I couldn’t forgive her for it."

Read more at The Rumpus

Shock Therapy

by Ania Spyra (Photo by Jakub Pabis on Unsplash)

"Sometime later, the post-communist restructuring would also render my father jobless. But in the early 1990s, he was still employed in construction, as he had been his whole working career. As a procurement manager at a state-owned construction company, he knew that the few new houses going up in our town were too expensive for the average Pole. Meanwhile, the cheap workers’ hotels—and the institutions that ran them, the massive, outdated factories and agricultural collectives—were closing down, leaving over three million people unemployed and scores more unhoused (their numbers are less clear; they were purposefully uncounted). Even those lucky enough to hold on to their jobs, like my parents, were either not being paid, because the state that employed them was bankrupt, or saw their income and savings melt down to nothing with the inflation, which was racing at a speed that took everyone’s breath away. "

Read more at Guernica


This event is one week from today! Register now for the June 21 Memoir Monday (still virtual for now), featuring Anjali Enjeti, Lilly Dancyger, Krys Malcolm Belc, and Larissa Pham!


Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Memoir Monday, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution (if even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Memoir Monday could be self-sustaining!) by clicking here.

You can also support Memoir Monday—and indie bookstores!—by browsing this Bookshop.org list of every book that’s been featured at the Memoir Monday reading series. It’s a great place to find some new titles to add to your TBR list!


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Anime and identity, desire and monstrosity, and scarcity in Silesia

Welcome back to Memoir Monday—a weekly newsletter and a quarterly reading series, brought to you by NarrativelyThe RumpusCatapultGrantaGuernica, and Literary Hub. Each personal essay in this newsletter has been selected by the editors at the above publications as the best of the week, delivered to you all in one place. 

We’re considering ways to expand aspects of this newsletter in the near future. Subscribe and follow us on Twitter at @memoirmonday for updates!

FMA and Me: Reckoning With Anime as Japanese and American

by Nina Coomes (Art by Bones Studio/JNN)

“Sometimes I wonder if I would have watched as much anime as I did if I hadn’t grown up in the United States. If I’d lived my whole life in Japan, everything on television would have been Japanese: the news, dramas, baseball games, each noisy and colorful commercial. I wouldn’t have found myself lonely in front of the television set, relegated to only anime when I wanted to hear the language spoken."

Read more at Catapult

In All the History of Wanting

by Lishani Ramanayake (art by Liz Asch)

"As a child, I wanted to erase the stillness that hung between my parents, the silent sadness that filled the house I grew up in. I wanted my family to be enough for my mother, and my want eclipsed hers. I wanted her to stop wanting for herself, and when she didn’t, I couldn’t forgive her for it."

Read more at The Rumpus

Shock Therapy

by Ania Spyra (Photo by Jakub Pabis on Unsplash)

"Sometime later, the post-communist restructuring would also render my father jobless. But in the early 1990s, he was still employed in construction, as he had been his whole working career. As a procurement manager at a state-owned construction company, he knew that the few new houses going up in our town were too expensive for the average Pole. Meanwhile, the cheap workers’ hotels—and the institutions that ran them, the massive, outdated factories and agricultural collectives—were closing down, leaving over three million people unemployed and scores more unhoused (their numbers are less clear; they were purposefully uncounted). Even those lucky enough to hold on to their jobs, like my parents, were either not being paid, because the state that employed them was bankrupt, or saw their income and savings melt down to nothing with the inflation, which was racing at a speed that took everyone’s breath away. "

Read more at Guernica


This event is one week from today! Register now for the June 21 Memoir Monday (still virtual for now), featuring Anjali Enjeti, Lilly Dancyger, Krys Malcolm Belc, and Larissa Pham!


Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Memoir Monday, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution (if even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Memoir Monday could be self-sustaining!) by clicking here.

You can also support Memoir Monday—and indie bookstores!—by browsing this Bookshop.org list of every book that’s been featured at the Memoir Monday reading series. It’s a great place to find some new titles to add to your TBR list!


If you received this email from a friend or found it on social media, sign up below to get Memoir Monday in your inbox every week! You can also follow us on Twitter at @memoirmonday.

Shifting body ideals, mothering as writing prompt, untangling an origin story, and dentists in the family

Welcome back to Memoir Monday—a weekly newsletter and a quarterly reading series, brought to you by NarrativelyThe RumpusCatapultGrantaGuernica, and Literary Hub. Each personal essay in this newsletter has been selected by the editors at the above publications as the best of the week, delivered to you all in one place. 

We’re considering ways to expand aspects of this newsletter in the near future. Subscribe and follow us on Twitter at @memoirmonday for updates!

May You Live Long Enough to Become the Standard of Beauty

by Blessing J. Christopher (illustration by Erin Perfect)

"My mother doesn’t act like her thinness bothers her. At church, prophets tell her that she’s thin because an unknown enemy is roasting her spirit over a fire. In her brand of Christianity, no one just falls sick or dies; some wicked persons are always responsible. When she prays, she asks God to rain down fire on these secret enemies. She draws up a list of neighbors we are not supposed to talk to because they could have used dark powers to cause her affliction."

Read more at Guernica

Finding Time to Write About Motherhood… While Parenting During a Pandemic

by Pragya Agarwal

"I am a mother all the time, and I am a writer all the time. But it is the co-existence of these two things, these two states of me that I often find disorienting. I sometimes wonder if my mothering supports my creativity and vice-versa. I know that I have written more than ever since I had these twins four years ago. I have written hungrily, and ravenously while trying to bring forth all the words and sentences that seem to be bursting with a sense of urgency. I make many notes in my phone, tiny fragments of beguiling thoughts, persuading me to come back to my desk. You have to wait, I tell them with a smile."

Read more at LitHub

We're in Sasquatch Country Now

by Lana Hall (Photo courtesy of the author)

"In the way of the Sasquatch legend, I’ve pieced together my origin story in snippets of evidence too: a transcript of a social worker’s interview, sparsely worded adoption papers, questions my adoptive parents answered as honestly as they could. Occasionally I had gut feelings, which sometimes turned out to be true and sometimes did not."

Read more at Catapult

We Are More: Show Me Your Teeth

by Dena Rod (Illustration by Abdel Morched)

"The dentists in our extended family were usually sent to the US for school before the Islamic revolution and were typically stranded here after their family homes were dismantled in Iran. Yet, by virtue of sharing the same mother country, my maman and baba were granted access to the abundant network of Iranian dentists, accountants, and lawyers in Northern California."

Read more at The Rumpus


Register now for the June 21 Memoir Monday (still virtual for now), featuring Anjali Enjeti, Lilly Dancyger, Krys Malcolm Belc, and Larissa Pham!


Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Memoir Monday, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution (if even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Memoir Monday could be self-sustaining!) by clicking here.

You can also support Memoir Monday—and indie bookstores!—by browsing this Bookshop.org list of every book that’s been featured at the Memoir Monday reading series. It’s a great place to find some new titles to add to your TBR list!


If you received this email from a friend or found it on social media, sign up below to get Memoir Monday in your inbox every week! You can also follow us on Twitter at @memoirmonday.

Disability diagnosed, gay Bengali brides, and archived ancestral comfort foods

Welcome back to Memoir Monday—a weekly newsletter and quarterly reading series, brought to you by NarrativelyThe RumpusCatapultGrantaGuernica, and Literary Hub. Each personal essay in this newsletter has been selected by the editors at the above publications as the best of the week, delivered to you all in one place. 

We’re considering ways to expand aspects of this newsletter in the near future. Subscribe and follow us on Twitter at @memoirmonday for updates!

The Space between Vertebrae

by August Lamm (art by August Lamm)

I see the cold spreading like a spot of ink, feathering out into the rest of my body, transforming me, turning me into someone else. The cold moves like time, only faster. I have a spinal condition, a birth defect that for two decades lay dormant at the base of my neck, quietly rewriting my future. When it finally emerged it took center stage, a scene-stealing breakout star. It dominated my field of vision and I coped by closing my eyes.

Read more at The Rumpus

A Gay Gaye Holud for Two Bengali Brides

by Promiti Islam

Each milestone in my relationship with Sophia was a new coming-out process to my parents, over and over again. And when I told them we were engaged, it sunk in for them, that this was true. Sophia was here to stay.

I learned that Sophia had come out to her parents two bites into a steaming bowl of pho in Chinatown. It was six months after I had come out to mine.

Read more at Catapult

Cooking Backwards

by Pam Petro

As I begin to pencil in my grandmother’s words, my hand disassociates from my brain, takes on a life long gone. Suddenly my grandma, dead of ovarian cancer at 82 in 1975, is alive again, guiding my hand. It’s odd, so very odd, to follow her cursive characters, elegantly strewn across the lines, all attached to one another. My fingers balk, seek a staccato rhythm, try to break each letter off from its mates. But my grandmother insists, and we end up rewriting the recipe together, a compromise, my interpretation atop her foundation.

Read more at Guernica


Register now for the June 21 Memoir Monday (still virtual for now), featuring Anjali Enjeti, Lilly Dancyger, Krys Malcolm Belc, and Larissa Pham!


Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Memoir Monday, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution (if even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Memoir Monday could be self-sustaining!) by clicking here.

You can also support Memoir Monday—and indie bookstores!—by browsing this Bookshop.org list of every book that’s been featured at the Memoir Monday reading series. It’s a great place to find some new titles to add to your TBR list!


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A wedding, a head trip, and a lost eye

Welcome back to Memoir Monday—a weekly newsletter and quarterly reading series, brought to you by NarrativelyThe RumpusCatapultGrantaGuernica, and Literary Hub. Each essay in this newsletter has been selected by the editors at the above publications as the best of the week, delivered to you all in one place. 

Finding a Way to My Father Through ‘Peppermint Candy’

by Hannah Bae (art by Hannah Bae and Adam Oelsner)

Decades later, long after I would forget about my seventh-grade autobiography and what my father wrote, I would begin to seek out those stories on my own as a writer ready to excavate the neglected chapters of my personal history, not fully aware that I was living out my father’s express wish: I want you to go back.

Read more at Catapult

Head Trips

by Julia Cooke

Identity is a strange and shifting thing that adapts to its surrounding circumstances. I’ve chosen most of the changes in my own life in the past two years; other challenges have been forced upon us all. Last February, I’d just begun make plans for being both mother and traveler, either taking my son with me or leaving him behind for a spell. Over a year of a pandemic, as I spent so many days at home wrangling a toddler rather than traveling and writing, my petrified wood and mannequin hand showed me there was a world beyond my walls—and gave me a tiny bit of the joy I feel being out in it.

Read more at Guernica

He’s Funny That Way

by Paul Haney

We’re dressed in the same clothes we wore to the ceremony at Boston City Hall ten days earlier, Peter dashing in his fitted black slacks and suit, a flower in his lapel. I’m in dark jeans and the gray coat I bought when I flew home to Orlando for a friend’s funeral, the coat Mom urged me to take back to Boston, just in case.

Read more at The Rumpus

The Shot-in-the-Eye Squad

by Wil Sands

As police forces across the U.S. and the globe have grown more militarized, there has been a rise in injuries like John’s and mine — a result of the proliferation of “less lethal weapons” that are not designed to kill, yet leave many civilians with life-changing injuries. 

Read more at Narratively

Breast or Tooth?

by Tishani Doshi

I have many poems with breasts in them. I sometimes think of these poems as journeys from shame to recognition. All my antagonists are present. The girl at the Madras Gymkhana Club, staring at my chest in the pool saying how lucky I am to be so flat. Crater-faced boy in school calling me ironing board. Dance critic making the shape of an hourglass with his swan-like hands, telling me how much more beautiful I’d be if only I had bigger breasts. Boo, I want to tell them.

Read more at Granta


Register now for the June 21 Memoir Monday (still virtual for now), featuring Anjali Enjeti, Lilly Dancyger, Krys Malcolm Belc, and Larissa Pham!


Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Memoir Monday, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution (if even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Memoir Monday could be self-sustaining!) by clicking here.

You can also support Memoir Monday—and indie bookstores!—by browsing this Bookshop.org list of every book that’s been featured at the Memoir Monday reading series. It’s a great place to find some new titles to add to your TBR list!


If you received this email from a friend or found it on social media, sign up below to get Memoir Monday in your inbox every week!

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