Selected Writing

2021 so far

Seen by
Real Life
An essay about what happens when you can see who sees you online.

Head in the cloud
Baffler
A review-essay on Maël Renouard’s internet memoir, Fragments of an Infinite Memory.

The new mental weather
Times Literary Supplement
A joint review of Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This and Lauren Oyler’s Fake Accounts.

Born and razed
Times Literary Supplement
A review of Vivian Gibson’s The Last Children of Mill Creek, a memoir about growing up in a community that was later destroyed.

2020 favorites

Easy answers
Real Life

An essay on the experience of not-knowing and the effects of overriding it with search engines.

Meditating on disasters
Washington Post

A review of Elisa Gabbert’s essay collection The Unreality of Memory.

Look who’s talking
Real Life

An essay on the language of interfaces and what “clarity” and can conceal.

Haunted mansions
Times Literary Supplement

A review of Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir, In the Dream House.

What almost everyone gets wrong about the Midwest
Washington Post

A review of Phil Christman’s book-length essay, Midwest Futures.

Rapture of the shallows
Times Literary Supplement

A review-essay on Eve Babitz, whose work I also discussed on an episode of the TLS podcast.

Heaven help us
Baffler

A review-essay on the middle of the Venn diagram between self-help and literature, featuring Beth Blum’s The Self-Help Compulsion.

Personal stories of the exodus from Christianity
Washington Post

A review of Empty the Pews, a collection of essays by people who abandoned right-wing Christianity.

2019 favorites

How the internet has changed the way we write—and speak
Washington Post

A review of Gretchen McCulloch’s Because Internet, a book about linguistics for non-linguists.

Sharing pain
Baffler

A review of Anne Boyer’s The Undying, a memoir of having breast cancer in the twenty-first-century United States.

Nuance, humanity, blackness
Times Literary Supplement
A review of Tressie McMillan Cottom’s essay collection, Thick.

A hundred things about writing
Times Literary Supplement
A review-essay on a couple of books by Alexander Chee.

Busy doing nothing
Baffler
A review-essay on resisting productivity, featuring Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing and Melissa Gregg’s Counterproductive.

Passing through my body
Times Literary Supplement
A review-essay on the strengths and weaknesses of Chris Kraus.

A few older favorites (2012-2018)

Just doing their jobs
Times Literary Supplement
A review-essay on workplace fiction.

How should an advice column be?
Point
An essay on recent attempts to make literature out of advice.

When the sick rule the world
Full Stop
A review-essay on the work of Dodie Bellamy.

Ban en banlieue
Full Stop
A review-essay on Bhanu Kapil’s hybrid book Ban en Banlieue and the question of what a “hybrid book” is.

Almost-mentors
Emily Books
An essay on never quite succeeding at finding a mentor.