This Week in Essays


Seema Jilani gives a harrowing personal account of the explosion in Beirut at the New York Review of Books.

“The protective element of silence in the face of trauma is that it undermines repetition, stops the event’s proliferation through testimony; it ruins rumor.” Harmony Holiday shares a hybrid essay that meditates on the origins, uses, and power of Black silence, over at Triple Canopy.

Yasmeen Khan writes on existing in-between different cultures, here at The Rumpus.

At Harper’s, Naomi Jackson writes on her own experience in a health care system where unfair levels of self-advocacy are required of Black women just to give birth safely.

At Real Life, Rachel Huber presents the terrifying prospect of being surveilled via our clothing.

Yxta Maya Murray catalogs water, fire, and Los Angeles’s long history of woes for Longreads.


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 →