• The Lifecycle of Butterflies

    When I began to see monarchs fluttering by my rooftop in Morelia, capital of the state of Michoacán, I felt as if I were greeting old friends from home in this most improbable place. Like me, these monarchs were foreigners. None of them had ever been to Mexico, where their great-to-the-nth grandmothers had abandoned their spent grandfathers the previous spring. So far as these butterflies could possibly know, they were simply obeying an itch to fly a few thousand miles, as if by some collective whimsy.

  • Fire Ants

    BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING “NOTABLE”/PUBLISHED ON VELA MAGAZINE:  In those first months living in El Salvador, had I walked down a village street and seen young men leaning against gaping doorframes, their eyes steady upon me, I would have read the wrong story. Then, I could barely speak, let alone interpret …

  • Up Ilamatepec

    In El Salvador, this will really happen: Seeping earth. Bitter rainwater. A yellow-green pool turns coffee brown. Incandescent rocks as big as cars hurtle through the air. I had come to El Salvador to understand the world, and I had climbed Ilamatepec to understand El Salvador. But even standing so close to the steaming marrow of the earth, it is hard to know what one is seeing.

Homage to Nepal

PUBLISHED BY VELA MAGAZINE. This is a compilation of work by women writers (and one artist) connected to Nepal that I assembled for Vela Magazine. It is a collective response to the earthquake that seeks to tell a different story than the body counts and the images of rubble can do, to remember and recount, …

The Little Giant Sequoia

PUBLISHED ON TERRAIN.ORG. From the euphoric heights of the Muir’s Sierras, through Steinbeck’s blooming Central Valley, and down to the glitter and …

The Lifecycle of Butterflies

When I began to see monarchs fluttering by my rooftop in Morelia, capital of the state of Michoacán, I felt as if I were greeting old friends from home in this most improbable place. Like me, these monarchs were foreigners. None of them had ever been to Mexico, where their great-to-the-nth grandmothers had abandoned their spent grandfathers the previous spring. So far as these butterflies could possibly know, they were simply obeying an itch to fly a few thousand miles, as if by some collective whimsy.

Review: On Immunity

PUBLISHED ON THE RUMPUS. One day I picked my toddler up from his Montessori school and, along with the usual bags of …

Review: The Four Words for Home

PUBLISHED ON THE RUMPUS. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Chinese-American journalist Angie Chuang was charged by her editor with putting “a …

Wanting

PUBLISHED IN DEFUNCT MAGAZINE AND ANTHOLOGIZED IN DIMESTORIES’ TENTH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION OF 3-MINUTE STORIES. The boy in purple moon boots thumps up to …