Some Personal Essays to Distract You From Your Case of "The Mondays"...
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. Beginning in January, 2022, there’ll occasionally be original work as well—the more subscription money that’s raised, the more original pieces we can publish, so if you haven’t become a paid subscriber, please consider becoming one!
✨ For those of you attending the 2022 edition of the AWP conference in Philadlephia, mark your calendars for the AWP edition of Memoir Monday, to be held on Wednesday, March 23rd! Check back here for more information as it develops… ✨
Blood, Sweat, Turmeric (from the Dirt Special Issue)
by Shilpi Suneja
"Dirty days, dangerous days. My grandmother and my mother might have disagreed on the semantics, but not on the essential fact: I was a problem now."
Picasso Shares His Screen
by Paul Anderson
“The problem is not the screen—or screens—obscuring or distorting the art; it is the illusion that there is ever not a screen, and the manipulation that occurs as a result.”
The Unsung Queerness of Green Day Lyrics
by Niko Stratis
"Billie Joe was saying what I was thinking—what I hoped and imagined so many of us were thinking: that we're all queers. Though I didn't think I'd unlocked some secret code hidden in the lyrics, surely there must have been others, like me, who recognized themselves in these words. I found these hints in the songs partly because I needed to find them but also because they were right there for me, and for anyone like me, to see."
Michael’s Goodbye Party
by Jay Blotcher
"We’re wheeling Michael back to his bed when he announces his birthday wish. And it’s a doozy. ‘I want my ashes put into white balloons and released over Central Park, okay?’"
Why Do I Write in My Colonizers’ Language?
by Anandi Mishra
"Torn between these two worlds, I found accidental love in the language that was imposed upon me. From a young age of six or seven I started voluntarily, subconsciously veering towards reading and writing in English. Every April we would get new books for the next class. I would cover them with brown paper, stapling all four corners secure, and then dive into the stories within."
Preserving Peruvianism in the Quinto Suyo
by Nico Vera
"My grandfather once told me that it’s possible to leave Peru and still be Peruvian. But something is lost by living abroad for so long like my parents have. For my mother, she lost the depth of her connection to her siblings in Lima, and the many family reunions and celebrations that took place in her absence. My father talks about missing his high school and college friends.”
My Serbian grandfather was killed during the Holocaust. How he died remained a secret — until now
by Julie Brill
"When you think of the Holocaust, you likely think of massive death camps, gas chambers, cattle cars, prisoner tattoos and forced marches. My grandfather’s tragic story has none of that. Like most of Belgrade’s Jews, he was enslaved, imprisoned, murdered and buried in his hometown. For decades, my family didn’t know where or how my grandfather died.”
For years, I feared that I’d outlive my daughter. And then science did something amazing.
by Abby Alten Schwartz
"Last year, my daughter graduated from college. She recently started her first full-time job and is apartment hunting with her best friend. These milestones, bittersweet for most parents, feel monumental to me. As my daughter steps into her future, our family of three stands on the precipice of a life we didn’t dare contemplate before now. Until recently, I still believed I would outlive her."
Syllabus for My Mother
By Catharina Coenen
“Learning Outcomes—As a result of taking this course you will:
say that sleepless nights of rising memories are worth it, because “so much good comes back with all the bad.”
learn to distinguish past from present tense.
sit through entire family meals without jumping up and running off to the kitchen.
turn around at a restaurant table and start talking to the couple behind you, when you overhear them mentioning that they, too, never once talked to their parents—or anyone—about the war.”
📢 Attention Publications and writers interested in having published essays considered for inclusion in our weekly curation:
By Thursday of each week, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org:
The title of the essay and a link to it.
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A paragraph or a few lines from the piece that will most entice readers.
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