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Domestic Violence

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


My mother regularly told me, Heather, if you are ever in danger and I’m not there, make your way to a house with flowers. The flowers show they care and are kind and will help.

It didn’t occur to me until years later that we had not a single bloom in our yard.

By Heather Sellers April 2016
The Sun Interview

Criminal Injustice

Maya Schenwar On The Failure Of Mass Incarceration

Prison deepened my sister’s addiction, crushed her self-esteem, narrowed her options for jobs and education, and diminished her hope for a good life. She was in a much worse situation each time she came out.

By Tracy Frisch June 2015
Readers Write


On the subway, in a mine, at a gas station

By Our Readers December 2014
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

How To Hit Your Dad

It never occurred to me when I was little that there was a world in which dads did not come home from the bar and beat up their oldest sons. It was totally normal, you know what I mean?

By Brian Doyle October 2014
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

We Should Do Something

There’s a news story from yesterday — December 21, 2006 — about an Idaho man who pleaded guilty to the beheading of his wife. He was caught because he got into a traffic accident that killed two other people, and his wife’s lifeless head bounced out of his pickup truck and onto the road.

By Laurel Leigh July 2014
Readers Write

Speaking Up

A volleyball game, a missed brunch, a game of Candy Land

By Our Readers May 2014


Basia watches her granddaughter, Lalka. No matter what else she does — digs in the garden, pulls weeds in the greenhouse, peels the potatoes — always she watches her granddaughter, who has a reddish-purple birthmark over her neck and jaw and part of her cheek. Her husband, Zbigniew, watches Lalka too.

By Halina Duraj April 2013
Readers Write


Organ donation, birdcalls, lasagna

By Our Readers April 2013
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Little Bird, Little Bird

There are four types of brick. I remember two of them: pavior and stock. Our row house was all brick with ledges near the roof, four stories up. Pigeons liked to make nests there, but it was stupid; the ledges were too shallow, and with the first strong gust of wind their nests blew down. Still, year after year, they did it. Optimists, those pigeons.

By Mary Jane Nealon January 2013
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Baby Lollipops

It was the year they found a dead toddler in the bushes, head bashed in, bite marks and cigarette burns all over his body. He was wearing a T-shirt with multicolored lollipops across the front. It was November 1990.

By Jaquira Díaz November 2011