Post-#MeToo PTSD, A volcano's momentary survivor, dispatch from the Korean diaspora, grief as an impetus for organizing...
Welcome back to Memoir Monday—a weekly newsletter and a 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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by Shiori Ito, translated by Allison Markin Powell
"When I was young, I had numerous experiences of chikan. The first time was at the library. I must have been in second grade or so. My father had brought my younger brother and me to the library, and I was sitting on a bench, reading a book, when a middle-aged man looked up my skirt. There was something very unnatural about what he had done, and scary, but because it confused me, I didn’t tell anyone about it."
Omayra (In Other Words)
by Ricardo Frasso Jaramillo (illustration by Lisa Lee Herrick)
"Perhaps I imagine myself transcending my fate, which is to become part of my own calculation, the giving and taking, the acts of transaction tucked in the creases of every story and all its tellings. What I imagine only pins me further and further to the bounds of where I am—among injudicious, flailing words, among a language that cannot halt time or bring anyone from death back to life."
Dear Imo: A Letter from the Korean Diaspora
by Grace M. Cho (Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult)
"Did you know that sociologists of immigration would look at our family’s story, my inability to speak to you without a translator, and see success? They have this idea called “the third-generation language shift,” when the third generation becomes fully absorbed into the dominant culture and language. The sociologists are quick to point out that it takes Asians only two generations. It always incensed me that they were unable to recognize the loss of language as a form of psychic violence."
Grief Is Another Word for Love
by Sisonke Msimang (Illustration by Anne Le Guern)
"Israel’s latest war against the Palestinians, who have already endured so much, has dislodged something in me. A video of a ten-year old girl speaking to a journalist has been doing the rounds on social media. The child is surrounded by rubble and perhaps she is in shock, or perhaps she is simply fluent in the language of loss, more eloquent in her outrage and befuddlement than most people ever have to be. Her name is Nadine, and I play and replay and replay the clip of her saying, ‘I don’t know what to do, I’m just a kid. I can’t even deal with this anymore. I just want to be a doctor or anything to help my people, but I can’t. I’m just a kid.’"
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