Is it Time to Bring Back Mysticism?

"I wouldn't draw any direct or concrete connection between mental illness and mystical experience, but I did see lots of patterns in the lives of the prophetesses I wrote about."

Born Both: Intersex and Happy

"I want parents to know that intersex kids can decide who they are for themselves and have that turn out beautifully."

We Have the Right to Resist

The jump to normalize all of this feels very familiar to those of us who know too much about domestic violence. We reject that normalization.

Representing Young Mothers in Literature

When The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom was first published, I’d never seen myself—a young mom—represented in a graphic novel. The brilliant book broke ground...

Black Wave: Alcoholism, Creativity, and Today’s Truth

"The similarities between being a writer and an alcoholic far outweigh the differences. They both seem to spring from what may be a glitch in my neurochemistry." —Michelle Tea

There's No One "Right" Reaction to Childhood Sexual Abuse

A writer who wrestled for years with the feeling that she'd been "doing her sexual abuse wrong" finally gets comfortable owning her experience.

The Power of Seeing Ourselves in Literature

Young Latinas and queer youth need more stories "told by us about us" to provide hope and to help each other survive. Ariel Gore interviews novelist Gabby Rivera.

When Gentrification Hits Home

I belonged here because my new father said I belonged here. "If anyone asks you where you're from," my new father said, "you say 'who, me?' and you point to the tallest, closest mountain you can see and you say, 'I just hiked down from the top of that mountain this morning. Where are you from?'"

Get on the Train

I'm going to give you some advice your parents and teachers might not: Drop out of high school.

Here's a Quick and Easy Wage Gap Calculator

I would like to talk about wage equality and not talk about celebrities.
Trigger Me

Trigger Me

Recent research proves what memoirists already know: Far from re-activating the stress of traumatic or emotional experiences, the process of writing serves as real medicine—even making our physical wounds heal faster. Seriously. Writers’ BIOPSY WOUNDS heal some fifty percent faster than folks who don’t jot down what they’re going through.

Creative Shame

Does creative expression require a sense of entitlement? Is the artist better-served by a life of privilege or a life of suffering? And would everyone be better off if we'd all just shut up?

Why Are Americans Still So Uptight About Breastfeeding?

With images of women's breasts everywhere in the media and advertising, you'd think Americans wouldn't still be so puritanical when it comes to images of breastfeeding.

Laughing in the Face of Trauma

Absurdist and dark-humor storytelling can serve as self-preservation—a tool of resilience; the antidote to the violence of life; that power-preserving implement that keeps us from despair.

When I’m Not Okay and You’re Just So-So

Ariel Gore talks to author and activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore about memoir, creating our own systems of care, and challenging the violence in the world around us.
What Do We Owe a Dying Parent?

What Do We Owe a Dying Parent?

I didn’t want to take care of my mother. But I knew I would. I’d join 65 million other Americans—almost 30 percent percent of the U.S. population—who care for an ill, disabled, or aging friend or family member. These “informal caregivers” offer an average of 20 hours a week in unpaid labor and more than $5,000 a year in out-of-pocket expenditures.

Laughing, Dancing, Grieving: How to Cope in Violent Times

"Passive violence can be as simple as someone honking their horn at you for not turning fast enough when the light changes. And it can be highly complex, like when your co-worker undermines all of your work relationships by spreading rumors and lies about you."
Autobiography of a Serial Killer

Autobiography of a Serial Killer

A new book gives us a raw and complex portrait Aileen Wuornos, "the hitchhiking prostitute" turned America's "first female serial killer."
If We’re Going to be Mothers and Writers, We Need Long Lives

If We’re Going to be Mothers and Writers, We Need Long Lives

With one kid in college, another in preschool, and my mother at home in hospice, I haven't produced much evidence of a life of the mind.

Can You be a Writer AND a Mother?

Can we be responsible to our relationships and still do the creative work we feel called to do?

The Generosity of Happiness

My grandmother was a writer of epic thank-you notes. Her last words to me were on a voicemail: "Call me back, darling," she said. "I want to tell you how marvelous you are."