The Map Box

I keep a wooden box on my bedside table. It’s cheap – an old Yalumba Wine case that I found on a curb somewhere, with a hinged lid and a shred of price tag still attached. Usually, it’s stacked high with magazines half read, a thing seldom opened and often dusty. But in all of […]

Guest Post: When Everything Good Is Also Beautiful

For the better part of 30 years, my head was firmly stuck in English. But when I moved to Italy three years ago, I also started my first genuine effort at picking up a second language. My barely remembered high school Spanish prepared me for some things about Italian, like the gendered nouns and overwhelming […]

What’s Your Word?

Living in a foreign country can be exhilarating. Every time you step out your front door you are exploring a strange and exciting land. It’s like you are always on vacation. Likewise, reporting in a foreign country can be amazing as you get to dig into another culture in a way that no one else […]

Conversation: Girls Reading Boy Books

Ann:  May I introduce my friend and colleague, Sharon Weinberger. She once wrote a book about her trips to the world’s various nuclear test sites and it sold reasonably well, probably to boys.  But recently somebody else’s book, The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold History of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, […]

The Ballad of Brother Koch and Tiananmen Sid

My rural Colorado town, pop. 1,500 on a good day, is in many ways a laboratory-scale model of the U.S.A. We worship both community ties and unfettered independence. We’re gossipy and private, inclusive and provincial, divided by class and dogma even as we gather under our purple mountains majesty. Our community stew comes to a […]

On Culture and Biological Clocks

In our centuries-old tradition of interviewing the Persons of LWON who are authors of newly-published books, here is our interview with Jessa about her new book, The Siesta and the Midnight Sun. Q:  Your book is about, as you say, “the body clock as a biological universal, a foundation on which cultures lay their own rituals […]

Not One More Winter in the Tipi, Honey

There are a lot of ways to shrink a carbon footprint. Bike instead of drive. Eat low on the food chain. You know the drill. Where I live, in the boondocks of Colorado, a lot of people — myself included, but I’ll get to that in a minute — go on a carbon diet by […]