Mar 20, 2023
The Route of My Escape
Crossing the Talamanca Range for the first time, heading to Puerto Limón on a rickety train while devouring a mango, I watch vertical peaks melt into the Caribbean. Farther on, banana plantations settle the sultry valley once owned by United Fruit, like a page out of One Hundred Years of Solitude. “Oh, this is why I came.”
Mar 18, 2023
Not long ago, I went to a concert by a folk singer who used to live in the apartment above ours, in Brooklyn Heights, where I grew up. His songs were funny and genuine and his guitar-playing beautiful in the way you’d expect after decades of composition and performance. Midway, he sang a selection from his first record, which I’d played over and over again as a girl.
Mar 17, 2023
Book Review: Permafrost by Eva Baltasar
Eva Baltasar’s well-paced, debut novel opens with a glimmering scene of existential crisis: the narrator is standing on the roof of a building, contemplating suicide. “If surviving is what it’s all about, maybe resistance is the only way to live intensely.”
Dec 31, 2020
Twenty years ago, a cancer reprieve for my husband on one of the country’s most terrible days
Was it over? I felt joy, of course, but had lived so firmly in the grip of denial that relief barely registered.
“Cheerful!” she said, “What is it?” Then recognizing the compact rows of marigold trophies lining spray upon spray arcing over the yard, “Oh, kerria, that was my mother’s favorite.” A moment of silence for one mother’s mother gone twenty years.
A Legacy of Falling
In the last few months of her life, when she could no longer get out of bed without falling, my mother told her nighttime caretaker that she had contemplated throwing herself from the subway platform into an oncoming train.