An Elegy for Love

An Elegy for Love

This essay first appeared on Salon. Three things happened the year we lost our love. We got married, we went bankrupt and we moved into a house with a polyamorous family. I’d like to trace it back to one event, say definitively “it was moving into the poly house!” when the dropped stitches started to…

12 Years A Slave: Everybody’s Protest Movie

12 Years A Slave: Everybody’s Protest Movie

This article first appeared on Counterpunch. If we wanted to applaud a movie for superb acting, for faithful and dedicated adherence to an original text, for a sensory and almost tactile aesthetic of complicated brutality, then we must look no further than Steve McQueen’s ’12 Years A Slave’, the current darling of the film world,…

Dodge ’77

Dodge ’77

The first time I saw my husband he was crouching on the steps of a fountain in Solidarity Park, reading aloud from a print out, articulating every word slowly and clearly so that the crowd gathered around him could hear all about the workings of the consensus process over the Bongo drums, the loud groans…

40 plus 5

40 plus 5

I had a baby.   For some strange reason, the birth of my son, Nye, went viral after this article about my tweeting through labor appeared in The Huffington Post, and we ended up in the news in about twenty different countries, from Brazil to Japan to Argentina to Italy to France, in publications as diverse…

After Les

After Les

This essay first appeared on The Los Angeles Review of Books But in the end I understood this language. I understood it, I understand it, all wrong perhaps. That is not what matters. Does this mean that I am freer now than I was? I do not know. I shall learn. Then I went back…

The Rescue Fallacy: Race, Privilege and Adoption

The Rescue Fallacy: Race, Privilege and Adoption

  This article first appeared in the print edition of ‘CounterPunch’. In the last few months I’ve been struck by three separate news stories, all concerning adoption. In the first, a black, orphaned teen – Davion Navar Henry Only – who had been in the Florida foster system since birth, hit the headlines after making…

Open Letters are for Passive Aggressive White “Feminists”

There are so many things wrong with Sinead O’Connor’s unpleasant, condescending ‘Open Letter’ to Miley that it’s hard to know where to begin. Sent with “motherliness and love”, Sinead claims disingenuously, ignoring the plain fact that a mother’s love would have picked up the phone and had a private conversation, not denigrated and shamed a…

The Unethical Pregnancy

The Unethical Pregnancy

I hate people who claim to have fallen pregnant “by accident”. Sure, there’s the .01 percentage of folks who actually did have a birth control fail issue, the fat fertile kids below the age of 12 who were playing some weird game of doctors and nurses that went badly wrong, and the idiots who were…

The Kabul Diaries 5: Drones

The Kabul Diaries 5: Drones

Aimal Faizi is Karzai’s press guy. It takes half an hour to navigate security into The Arg – the Presidential palace where Karzai and his staff reside. They assign me a security guard with acne scars that remind me of Kenickie in Grease. The six foot guy sweating in a polyester suit eyes me dispassionately…

CounterPunch – A New White Face On Chicken Street

CounterPunch – A New White Face On Chicken Street

 This article first appeared in the print edition of ‘CounterPunch’ July 2013 Vol. 20 No. 7 You feel closer to death in Kabul. As a white face with an unfurrowed brow, a face that no one’s seen on Chicken Street, or in the Flower Street cafe, or at the USAID guesthouse, in the UN compound,…

The Kabul Diaries 4: Women, War and Racism

The Kabul Diaries 4: Women, War and Racism

The next day, after wasting time in expat hangout The Flower Street Cafe, listening to listless American twenty-somethings talk about their NGO’s and flights to Doha while tracking down more fixers and journalists who may be able to help with the drone question, I get lucky. One of the many journalists I’d reached out to…

The Kabul Diaries 3: Pink Balloons

The Kabul Diaries 3: Pink Balloons

This is a piece I wrote intended for publication rather than blogging, but the whirl of traveling consigned it to my desktop. I share it here, now, a little out of date, but thought-provoking nonetheless. Two weeks ago I sat down with a group of Western and Afghan journalists over dinner in Kabul. Everyone exchanged…

The Kabul Diaries 2 – Islamic Philly Cheese Steaks

The Kabul Diaries 2 – Islamic Philly Cheese Steaks

I wake to find text messages from DJ. “I have fired Sohrab and Farid will now be your driver. Sohrab was no good. He cannot drive.” I call Farid and he drives up, waits outside the security gate. He’s a good looking 32 year-old guy with Hazara features, a t-shirt and jeans. “You wanna see…

"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."  ~ E. Hemingway

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