Best of Essays

Take another look at James Salter on France and A Sport and a Pastime, introduced by Paul Yoon; revisit Damascus with Tricia Khleif as she recalls music lessons in “Abu Musa.”

 

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons

 

Best of Essays

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A wooden model of a house hangs from a tree branch

The Desire Tree

MEERA NAIR
I imagine the tree’s hanging roots and its giant trunk as conduits, which, along with its rising sap and the susurration of its leaves, convey the deepest longings and the secret stories of its devotees, all that clamorous human need, up to the silent gods hoping they are out there.

Woman lying in bed with man sitting near her. They are both reading a picture book titled COW PARADE

Perfect Storms

ALEXANDRA TEAGUE
My mother and I are on a chlorinated river that’s simultaneously the Amazon, Congo, and Nile, floating languidly so we don’t run into the boat in front of us and “don’t scare the wildlife”: the kind of joke the Disney guide, in his safari hat, keeps making.

An image of the N Judah trains rounding the corner of 9th and Judah at twilight.

Which One is the Lifeline?

ALEXIS M. WRIGHT
Two Black women, two White cops. The cops have come to collect the details for the report, but I’m doing most of the talking. Grammy bears witness. Alpha Cop asks, “How did she get your Social Security number?” I indignantly answer, “She’s my mother..."