This Week in Essays


“All the people you could have been had you chosen differently—they haunt the bookstore alongside the person you became and could still become.” At Lit Hub, Steve Edwards mourns the steady tread of time and loss of possibility that a bookstore represents.

For Out magazine, Feminista Jones talks Surviving R. Kelly and shining a light on the abuse of black girls and women.

Here at The Rumpus, Emily Urquhart explores folklore, harm, and the messages that get passed down through the years.

For the New York Times’s “Modern Love” series, Maggie Smith looks to Google Maps for a new perspective on her marriage falling apart.

Jennifer Percy shares a sensitive profile of a staunchly religious military interrogator’s crisis of conscience at Abu Ghraib for Smithsonian magazine.

At the Paris Review, Myriam Gurba examines the lively lingo of her Long Beach high school students.

Back at The Rumpus, A. Martine grapples with food, culture, disordered eating, and finally coming to grips with her various influences.


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 →