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 Narratively, The Rumpus, Catapult, Granta, Guernica, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!