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