The Blog

Myriam Gurba's MEAN

Elizabeth Hoover

As an undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley, Myriam Gurba developed an eating and exercise disorder in the wake of a sexual assault. One day, she passes out in the school gym. As she comes to, an employee asks if she’s epileptic. She replies, “I’m Mexican.”



Jenny George

The Sleeping Pig

It is easy to love a pig in a nightgown. 
See how he sleeps, white flannel 
straining his neck at the neckhole. 
His body swells and then deflates.
The gown is nothing to be ashamed of, only 
the white clay of moonlight smeared 
over his hulk, original clothing, the milk 
of his loneliness. The flickering candle 
of a dream moves his warty eyelids. 
All sleeping things are children. 


The Traveling Line 


Elizabeth Hoover


Whiteness is a dangerous concept. It is not about skin color. It is not even about race. It is about the willful blindness used to justify white supremacy. Chris Hedges



On the surface Ramona Ausubel’s second novel Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty is a summer romance about the affairs of wealthy people. However, beneath that surface runs a chilling commentary on the blindness at the core of whiteness.


Beautiful Rot: Emma Cline and the Myth of the Manson Girls

Katlyn Williams

In mid-November, 2017, one of America’s favorite cultural demons passed away from natural causes, a good death for someone accused of so much bad. Headlines that week referred to Charles Manson as a “wild-eyed leader of a murderous crew” (New York Times), a “cult leader and murder-rampage mastermind” (Washington Post), and “one of [the] nation’s most infamous mass killers” (USA Today). The New York Post went with the simple: “Charles Manson is rotting in hell.” These headlines speak to the once-hysterical cultural passion surrounding the Manson Family crimes, a fascination that our films, novels, documentaries, and essays are still unpacking. Prior to his death, interviews show a man who remained strangely compelling, but also pathetic.


Elizabeth Boyle

Running is a “spectacular balancing act,” ESPN journalist Kate Fagan writes in What Made Maddy Run. “A runner is always attempting to control everything—time, energy, form, workouts, food intake, hydration.” At the college level, distance athletes often have a team of experts helping them perform this balancing act. As a Big Ten distance runner, for example, I worked often with athletic trainers, sports medicine doctors, nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, equipment managers, academic advisors, and compliance officers. Only after I finished my eligibility, though, did I find out our team had access to a mental health professional. Mental health, most athletes learn, is an essential part of the balancing act, but it is also something rarely talked about.    


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