Memories of a Mugging

Sunday in Quito. Nine thousand feet up on the equator, the sky is clear, the parks filled with fruit vendors and picnicking families. Much of downtown is blocked from traffic, bikes fill the streets, and there is no exhaust. Absent exhaust, Quito smells like . . . nothing.

Received and Recommended: Patricia Horvath’s All the Difference

This beautifully written, thoughtful memoir by a writer whose fiction has appeared in several issues of Confrontation, focuses on Horvath’s adolescence and specifically on her physical abnormality since childhood—caused by scoliosis—which eventually sends her, at thirteen, to Yale University Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, where her spinal column was fused and bones were grafted (her...

Displaced Persons

In the evening when he got home from work it was my grandfather’s habit to pause at the sight of his little family gathered in the kitchen to greet him, a bitter confusion emptying his face as if once again he had blundered into the wrong apartment.

Christopher Thornton’s Global Spotlight: Letter from Dhaka

The streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, are shimmering, pulsing corridors of color. Blue and gold, pink and sapphire green, crimson red, deep purple, and radiant orange brighten the urban drab.

This Believer

A doctor once suggested that I use hypnosis to gain access to a self-critical inner voice that has plagued me since childhood. She said that the issues that had led me to seek treatment were unlikely to respond to conventional talk therapy.

A Very Small Cemetery

Border Days in Grangeville have been held annually since 1911. Three days—July 2, 3, 4—of parades, cowboy breakfasts, pretty girls on horseback, and the oldest professional rodeo in Idaho.

To Swim Infinitude

My cottage on the western edge of the Great Basin fills with a 5 a.m. sunrise, a flood of orange light I can sip from my bed. Awakening, I remember that I heard a coyote during my sleep—a serenade from the underworld. Trickster Coyote gliding into the slipstream between the daylight touchstones and darkened dives. ...

Christopher Thornton’s Global Spotlight: Letter from Lalibela

It is Christmas Day in Lalibela, Ethiopia—December 25, the day chosen to commemorate the birth of Christ in the world of Western Christianity. In Ethiopia, the celebration won’t arrive for another fifteen days because the Ethiopian Orthodox Church adheres to the Eastern calendar.

The Names

In the beginning, from the inky black mouth of God, into a darkness so deep that any subsequent darkness seemed ironic, a pale simulacrum of true night, there was a word.

Exiled: The Mystery of Baby Boomers and Suicide

The First Man speaks: “You and I are of the same generation—baby boomers. We always had an eye toward the future and grew up in a certain abundance that our parents didn’t have growing up.