Weekend Rumpus Roundup


In the Saturday Essay, Kenny Ng evaluates the groundbreaking show Transparent and its attempt to raise awareness of transgender and genderqueer identities. In the show, Arrested Development’s Jeffrey Tambor plays Mort, a lifelong family man who comes out as a transgender women named Maura. The show’s creator, Jill Soloway, negotiates complicated psychological territory. In the end, Ng writes, Transparent is about “trying to be more fully human by taking the necessary steps, however scary, or painful, toward becoming the person you’d like to be.”

The poems in Jennifer Tseng’s Red Flower, White Flower integrate love, grief, and the subtleties of relationships with lovely acumen. In a review of Tseng’s collection, Aaminah Shakur appreciates the inclusion of the original Chinese writing alongside its English translation. The poems “ring in the mind after the reading.”

Then, Mallory McDuff offers an elegy to her parents in the Sunday Essay. Using Cheryl Strayed’s experience on the Pacific Crest Trail as inspiration, McDuff reanimates her mother and father’s compassionate spirituality. Tragedy provides an opportunity for reconciliation, and motherhood for a kind of layperson’s reincarnation. “Maybe,” McDuff admits, “we see what we want to believe.”

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →