This Week in Essays


“Like the cells of a human body replacing themselves over the years, and the changing seasons of our ideas of self and world, across the span of a lifetime we are the same, and also not.” In the wake of a burned Notre Dame, Summer Brennan considers the long human history of rebuilding and reconceptualizing art at Longreads.

“Today it pays off that I never learned to stop counting the dead.” At the Paris Review, Vyshali Manivannan writes as one of many in the Sri Lankan diaspora taking in the tide of loss.

Here at The Rumpus, Marissa Korbel writes on how trigger warnings or content notes do not shield so much as offer a mode of empowered control.

“Recalling how my breath rose with the waves, how my worries slid away with the retreating water, makes me think of the sea as a poem that listens more than it tells.” Facing restrictions and racism in Saudi Arabia, Sulaiman Addonia longs for the greater comfort of a refugee camp in Sudan at Granta.

For the Smart Set, Mike Ingram explores shades of masculinity and how the gender spectrum really plays out.

“Later I’d realize it didn’t matter why he started drinking, just that he didn’t stop.” Connie Pertuz-Meza writes on living with her father’s alcoholism back at The Rumpus.


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 →