Most-Read Pieces of 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, we want to celebrate the pieces our readers loved! Below, you can browse our list of 2021’s most-read pieces to see the writing that left an impact on our readers.

Image of a street with puddles, two-story houses, and a biker, sepia toned.Split Me in Two by Celeste Mohammed (Essay)

“Instead of dreaming up more labels and double-barreled categories, maybe we need to build a better value system. Maybe we need to change what we value in people, how we weigh and measure them, and what we measure them against.”

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Image of a hand holding a black pen over a spiral notebook with some writing.Mother’s Tongue by Jennifer Shyue (Essay)

“The man walked toward us and, without preamble, planted himself before me to ask if I knew a noted translator from Japanese. The translator is Asian-American, like me. (Or—maybe there was a preamble; maybe he asked us our names first.) I felt my smile gelatinize on my face. No, I said. I had never met that translator.”

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Image of the word "Lolita" written in different fonts and colors against a black background. Badge of Honor by Susan Choi (Essay)

“This isn’t to say I was duped: I deplored, I deconstructed, I considered myself a smart reader, I wrote critical essays. But the insidious beauty of the book never lost its hold on me. The gaseous cloud of romance was never fully dispelled. It’s built to last.”  

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Image of a circular reflective pond in a garden.Delusions of Grandeur by A. Natasha Joukovsky (Essay)

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that in the four years since, the former President sought to become the state. ‘I alone can fix it,’ he said, while trying to break things, not in the least the 2020 election. He very nearly succeeded.”

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Image of a blue square with the words "Prize for New Immigrant Writing" on it.Excerpts by the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing 2021: Natasha Burge, Ani Gjika, Lisa Lee Herrick, and Nina Kossman

“In novels, short stories, memoirs, and works of journalism, immigrants have shown us what resilience and dedication we’re capable of, and have expanded our sense of what it means to be global citizens.”

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Most-Read Pieces of 2021

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The Most-Read Pieces of 2023

As our new year of publishing and programming picks up speed, we at The Common wanted to reflect on the pieces that made last year such a great one! We published over 200 pieces online and in print in 2023. Below, you can browse a list of the six most-read pieces of 2023 to see which stories, essays, and poems left an impact on readers. 

Cover of The Science of Departures by Adalber Salas Hernández, translated by Robin Myers. Cover shows a close up illustration of a fly with glossy wings resting on a dead plant

Friday Reads: February 2022

This round of Friday Reads features recommendations from three of our online contributors: Carolyn Oliver, author of “Magic Mile;” Rajosik Mitra, author of “Cockroach;” and Jennifer Shyue, translator of “The Eclipse” and author of “Mother’s Tongue.”