Berfrois

‘My neo-vagina felt like the confirmation that I had been born transgender’

‘My neo-vagina felt like the confirmation that I had been born transgender’

I couldn’t write a book about sex, trans bodies and genitals, or the changes we make without being honest about my own inability to get it right or at least explore it openly and with self-respect.

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‘In a desert, all waters are holy’

‘In a desert, all waters are holy’

My parents were both churchgoers, and when I first encountered the opening chapters of the Bible, I recognized the description there of an earthly realm stretched between waters above and waters below.

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Will Lament, and Love

Will Lament, and Love

In 1826, at the age of 20, John Stuart Mill sank into a suicidal depression, which was bitterly ironic, because his entire upbringing was governed by the maximisation of happiness.

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Scott Manley Hadley on Jon Fosse

Scott Manley Hadley on Jon Fosse

Of all the nations of Europe with a rich literary tradition, Norway is a country that seems–whether by accident or design–to export exclusively exquisite fiction...

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Don’t Cry

Don’t Cry

It’s early on a Sunday morning in January of 2010. I sit on the edge of the bed, already dressed, with my hand on my partner’s foot as he sleeps. The night before, I couldn’t catch my breath, and I told myself that if I felt the same in...

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A Year in Windom

A Year in Windom

In the 1963–’64 Windom High School yearbook, there is an entire page dedicated to my Palestinian father. During his one year as an exchange student in Windom, Minnesota, he played on the tennis team...

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‘No aspiring writer sets out to be a minor writer’

‘No aspiring writer sets out to be a minor writer’

I’m not who I was supposed to be. No aspiring writer sets out to be a minor writer. I didn’t dream of growing up and writing books that sell modestly, are received quietly, and reviewed indifferently...

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Vienna-Despising Viennese

Vienna-Despising Viennese

Alone in Vienna, January sky smoothed and silvery over a thin lip of sunlight, streets windless, I sat in the Café Museum before a strudel and a cup of milky coffee, reading an Austrian novel propped open and freshly coffee stained.

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Second Wave-Hating Feminists

Second Wave-Hating Feminists

Disrespecting your ideological predecessors is something of a sport in modern American feminism, and it reaches varsity level when it comes to criticizing the second wave...

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Colin Raff: Torpid Slivers #15-19

Colin Raff: Torpid Slivers #15-19

We have ascertained that the tail of Subject X can indeed work in conjunction with the test membrane and produce an apparition that will generate a modicum of fear in Subject A.

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Anderson and Gramsci

Anderson and Gramsci

What is the role—or function, or significance—of Marxist thought in a time when the triumph of the working class doesn’t appear to be on the agenda?

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Grenfell

Grenfell

It was a clear day and you could see for miles. From her flat on the 23rd floor, Rania texted one of her best friends from back home and they talked about facts. Who you love is a fact and the meals you cook are facts.

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Cold War Hysteria in Mexico

Cold War Hysteria in Mexico

In Mariano Azuela’s bestselling novel about the Mexican Revolution, Los de Abajo (The Underdogs) (1915), the revolutionaries who set out to eradicate the corruption and decadence of the Porfirian government themselves...

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Ed Simon on Philip Roth

Ed Simon on Philip Roth

It’s easy to see Roth as an avatar of the American literary “Great Male Narcissists” identified by David Foster Wallace (takes one to know one…). In a fashionable word, Roth can be problematic...

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