This Week in Essays


“The search for the middle is rooted in conflict avoidance and denial.” Tayari Jones destroys the myth that common ground is what we should aim for in a clear-eyed piece for TIME magazine.

In the wake of Saturday’s atrocity, Amy Weiss-Meyer reflects on her Jewish grandfather’s escape to Pittsburgh and the help offered by aid societies over at the Atlantic.

Here at The Rumpus, Elizabeth Ann Reed battles breast cancer and battles for self-advocacy in a seemingly never-ending loop.

“Maybe fans don’t own the music anymore, but the companies, as they remind us, always did.” In the shift from MP3s to streaming, David Turner parses anxieties about music consumption and ownership at Real Life.

“The Gothic is, rather, a sensation, like hunger or desire; and, like hunger or desire, you may be hard pressed to describe it, but you’ll know it when you feel it.” Sarah Perry teases out the roots and the appeal of Gothic expression at the Paris Review.

Laura P. McCarty watches the young people in her community dropping like bees in a troubled hive, back at The Rumpus.

“Election Day is the day they should fear us; the day when we could summon all the power of being a woman, casting a spell by casting a vote that could drive all the evil spirits out of government.” Tess Rafferty talks witches and politics at DAME.


Logo art by Max Winter.

Tamara Matthews is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor. Visit or find her on Twitter: @writingtoatee. More from this author →