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!

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.