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"Lolita" Belongs to the Girls Who Lived It

Alisson Wood’s high school English teacher told her that Lolita was a beautiful story about love. She believed him—after all, there were so many similarities between Vladimir Nabokov’s famous novel and the relationship she and the teacher were forming, which she believed was true love. It wasn’t until college that she started to understand that Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert is an unreliable narrator and a sexual predator—and that her teacher was, too.

Lyz Lenz on Faith, Loss, and Sexism in Rural America

In 2016, Lyz Lenz wrote an article for Pacific Standard called "The Death of the Midwestern Church," examining how rural church closures had affected Midwestern communities. That article led to her new book, God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America, which examines not just the impact of these church closures, but also the larger ways that Evangelical faith has shaped the culture and mentality of America's heartland. In God Land, we follow Lenz on two simultaneous journeys

The Author of The Collected Schizophrenias Has More Questions

In her Graywolf Nonfiction Prize–winning essay collection The Collected Schizophrenias (out February 5 from Graywolf), Esmé Weijun Wang combines research and reporting with personal storytelling to examine some of the biggest questions and challenges in the way society views, treats, and talks about mental illness — specifically the widely misunderstood and misrepresented category known as the schizophrenias. Wang was originally diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and later with schizoaffective dis

The Author of Maid Doesn’t Want to Be Called a Success Story

After leaving an abusive relationship and moving into a homeless shelter with her toddler, Stephanie Land began working as a house cleaner for minimum wage. In her debut memoir Maid (out earlier this week from Hachette), Land details the grind required to survive living below the poverty line in America — working as many hours as she could and still, at one point, relying on seven different kinds of government assistance. Some of Land’s cleaning clients are friendly, while others don’t bother t

What Happens When an Adoptee Looks for Answers

Born to Korean-immigrant parents and adopted by a white couple, Nicole Chung grew up in a predominantly white town in Oregon, subject to what she didn’t know to call racist bullying until much later. Following the advice they’d been given, her parents didn’t talk to her about race or how she was different from the other kids at school — or the rest of her family. All they told her was that her birth parents loved her and wanted her to have the best life possible. She accepted that story as the s

Articles and Reviews

Q&A: A Queer Porn Director Takes on Mainstream ‘Lesbian’ Porn

During most of a recent trip to New York, Courtney Trouble — the director and performer SF Weekly called “the Queen of ‘Queer Porn’” — stayed with friends in Brooklyn. But on the last night in town, Trouble rented a swanky room at the Gramercy Park Hotel — not for the comfort, but for its potential as a porn set. When I met Trouble at the hotel, shooting had just finished. Porn stars lounged on the bed, with clothing and dildos strewn all over the room.

If You Defend the Cop Who Killed Terence Crutcher Because She’s A Woman, You’re Doing Feminism Wrong

Betty Shelby, the Tulsa police officer who was captured on video shooting and killing an unarmed Terence Crutcher, was charged with manslaughter last week. Almost immediately after those charges were announced, there were rumblings on Twitter asking whether the officer’s gender has anything to do with charges being brought—a rarity in police shootings of civilians.
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