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17 articles

Why We Play

The allure of dangerous sports.


Under the Boardwalk

A memoir of Santa Cruz.


The Only Time I’ve Ever Been To Connecticut

An informational interview during which the author is advised, “Find a rich husband, and then you can work at whatever you like on the side, and it doesn’t matter, because you already have money.”


The Other Side of the Story

“When I was fourteen, I had a relationship with my eighth grade history teacher. People called me a victim. They called him a villain. But it’s more complicated than that.”


How Many of Your Memories Are Fake?

How our memories become contaminated by inaccuracies.


Eat, Pray, Love, Get Rich, Write a Novel No One Expects

A profile of Elizabeth Gilbert, whose bestselling memoir may have sunk her literary career.


My Foreign Mom

“I love my mother a not-normal amount.”


Down and Out in a Repurposed Troop Carrier

Writing a “stunt memoir” in the waterpark capital of the world.


Anatomy of a Divorce

The author ponders the dissolution of his own marriage, and others.


The Comfort Zone

Growing up with Charlie Brown.


A Few Words About Breasts

Nora Ephron on adolescence.


The Autumn of Joan Didion

Didion’s genius is that she understands what it is to be a girl on the cusp of womanhood, in that fragile, fleeting, emotional time that she explored in a way no one else ever has. Didion is, depending on the reader’s point of view, either an extraordinarily introspective or an extraordinarily narcissistic writer. As such, she is very much like her readers themselves.

Stories to Live With

Coping with a brother’s suicide.

We tell stories about the dead in order that they may live, if not in body then at least in mind—the minds of those left behind. Although the dead couldn’t care less about these stories—all available evidence suggests the dead don’t care about much—it seems that if we tell them often enough, and listen carefully to the stories of others, our knowledge of the dead can deepen and grow. If we persist in this process, digging and sifting, we had better be prepared for hard truths; like rocks beneath the surface of a plowed field, they show themselves eventually.



How Timothy Patrick Barrus, a white writer of gay erotica, reinvented himself a (wildly successful) Native American memoirist.


I Was Born Inside the Movie of My Life

Extracted from the author’s memoir, Life Itself.

The British satirist Auberon Waugh once wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily Telegraph asking readers to supply information about his life between birth and the present, explaining that he was writing his memoirs and had no memories from those years. I find myself in the opposite position. I remember everything. All my life I've been visited by unexpected flashes of memory unrelated to anything taking place at the moment. These retrieved moments I consider and replace on the shelf.