When did Elinor Carucci enter my apartment and take photos of my life? This was exactly how I felt looking at her new book, Midlife, a gorgeous documentary account of domesticity, 20 years in. There is the messy kitchen counter, unpicturesque. There is the couple (at the same counter) paying bills and unpacking groceries, each frame a frozen section of time, implying decades of repetition of household chores.
If you’re female, the machines may not recognize you as human. They may not see you if you’re trans or a person of color, nor, possibly, if you have poor dental hygiene or carry a cane or are diminutive in stature or extraordinarily tall. The machines understand the world based on the information they’ve been […]
Aja Newman went to the emergency room for shoulder pain. Her doctor was a superstar. What’s the worst that could happen? Sometime after 2 a.m. on January 12, 2016, Aja Newman roused herself from her hospital gurney and made her way down the long hallway to the bathroom. She had checked in at Mount Sinai’s […]
How do you dress for your mastectomy? The surgery itself is easy, actually. During the cutting, you’re wearing nothing at all, unconscious and strapped to a table in a martyr’s pose, arms out in a T, while an OR crew that looks like the cast of a reality show bustles around doing God knows what. […]
Several weeks ago I saw a young woman on the subway accidentally dump a full cup of iced coffee into the seat next to her. A large puddle rippled in the molded plastic divot, threatening to overflow at any moment. Panicked and helpless, the embarrassed woman gazed at her mess. She couldn’t disown it. And […]
In 1972 or 1973, I went to the circus with my friend and afterward her father picked us up. We were 9 or 10 years old, and while we had been enjoying the circus, her father and his new girlfriend had gone to see the porno Deep Throat, which at the time was a groovy thing […]
On an unseasonably chilly morning in May, three dozen or so plaintiff-parents, most of them from the Green Meadow Waldorf School, showed up at the Rockland County Courthouse, looking, in their draped layers and comfortable shoes, like any PTA from Park Slope or Berkeley.
It was 2013,and David Brooks was in the wilderness. Not the literal desert or jungle or anything like that, but the emotional wilderness of an accomplished man who, in midlife, has discovered a deep emptiness at his core. His marriage of 27 years was falling apart. The genteel conservatism in which he was nurtured and […]
Even before she was born, our daughter was our priority. My husband and I married late in our lives, propelled toward each other largely by a mutual urge to procreate, and we saw in the other the qualities necessary for raising a child: stamina, humor, intelligence, kindness, good health, a durable beauty. We hurled ourselves […]
The first reaction I received was from a friend. We are not intimate — I did not know that she has struggled with major depression all her life — but her text was emphatic. It was just before Christmas, and she had written to say that she had immediately forwarded my New York Magazine cover […]