Nine Stories, and Introducing "First Person Singular"...
Welcome to Memoir Monday—a weekly newsletter and a quarterly reading series, brought to you by Narratively, The Rumpus, Catapult, Granta, Guernica, Oldster Magazine, Literary Hub — and now many additional publications.
In addition to the weekly curation, there are now occasional original personal essays under the heading of First Person Singular, for paying subscribers. If you haven’t become a paid subscriber, please consider becoming one.
The first essay, published last week, is Not Everyone Survived, by Lori Yeghiayan Friedman, in which she weighs the lasting trauma of a 1988 car accident that took the lives her her high school classmates.
Essays from partner publications…
by Marina Benjamin
"As the food dried into clumps it acquired a sickly sheen. Time took on a jellied stillness, and darkness began shading over the garden I’d been staring out at, my features doubtless as blank as the windowpane itself. My mother sighed heavily as she paced between the kitchen and breakfast room, wrestling with her own impatience. I remember feeling rather pleased with myself. My refusal, it seemed, was king. I relished the power I believed I exerted over my mother in that moment, the power of holding out. I revelled in my own inner resolve."
Cure for Last Night’s Leftovers
by Monica Prince
"This is not an essay about sobriety. This is not an essay about relinquishing alcohol’s hold on my life and saving the couple grand I spend every year on wine, liquor, and mixers. This is not an essay that judges the sober or the unwell. No—this is an essay about engaging one of my vices in a way that won’t kill me.”
Steven Returns the Universe
by Adam Roberts
“I do not think my people carried a rope. I wish I could know my uncle; my cousin, his daughter, has an old bike of his, and I imagine peddling very fast along an open road with the wind flying by and think that that is a weapon…If grief were a weapon, what shape would it take?”
Losing My Religion and Finding Faith on Spanish Vineyards
by Meg Bernhard
“We didn’t openly talk about alcohol with one another, so I couldn’t grasp why few people in my family seemed to drink it. But I did gather that alcohol, like work and family, was imbued with moral meaning.”
I Won’t Stop Talking About My Uterus
by Aileen Weintraub
“A New York Times article suggests that menopause is studied for one single hour in medical school. This life-changing event, which affects almost every single woman in the entire world, gets only sixty minutes of attention…When I speak to other women about their health care experiences, they consistently tell me that their doctors dismiss their concerns or blame their symptoms on anxiety.”
Choosing Our Kin: Remembering Valerie Boyd
by Sejal Shah
“We get to choose our mentors and influences. It’s not just okay, but necessary for us to not only make these choices, but to claim our own literary ancestry.”
Not Everyone Survived
by Lori Yeghiayan Friedman
“I started thinking about the accident after a video call with my childhood best friend Giselle. She leaned in close, her heart-shaped face filling my phone screen, and asked me if I’d seen the Facebook post.”
Essays from around the web…
By A.D. Carr
“I couldn’t think of how to ask what I wanted to ask. Earlier that day, the president gave his inaugural address. Watching the wall-to-wall coverage of the transition over cable news for weeks on end, I told my husband that if I couldn’t get pregnant without fertility treatments, maybe that would be fine—maybe we shouldn’t try too hard… ‘How do you…?’ My voice trailed away for a moment. ‘How do you even think about parenting? When the world is like this, I mean. When the world is so fucked up?’”
by Carissa Chesanek
"It had become an obsession, this white deer, for my father yes, but also for me. It was felt throughout our side of the old house. Words unsaid, sitting stagnant in the thick air, a secret kept. When will my father see her again? What will happen next? With death around us, that white deer gave us hope. A symbol of life, but also of magic. The excitement of rare possibilities, our imaginations soared of the unknown. I’d take this feeling with me wherever I’d go, even as I’d venture to the other side of the home. The hunter’s side where joy could easily be replaced with dread as the thought of the white deer getting hurt became more prominent."
📢 Attention Publications and writers interested in having published essays considered for inclusion in our weekly curation:
By Thursday of each week, please send to email@example.com:
The title of the essay and a link to it.
The name of the author, and the author’s Twitter handle.
A paragraph or a few lines from the piece that will most entice readers.
Because of data limits for many email platforms, going forward we will only include artwork from our partner publications. No need to send art.
*Please be advised, however, that we cannot accept all submissions, nor respond to the overwhelming number of emails received.
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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