Instead, I found the same old, same old: an overwhelmingly white and male list. It featured just three women authors — Harper Lee, Margaret Atwoood, L.M. Montgomery. Haruki Murakami and Alexandre Dumas the lone people of color. Irritated, I replied: “I hope this is a first draft and you plan to do some soul searching about the bias you just put on blast.” I wrongly assumed that the whitewashed list, like so many others every year, was a sole author’s creation. Turns out, the real origin was . . .
Janet Mock’s “Redefining Realness” is a heartbreaking work of staggering revelation. I have not read a memoir that felt more truthful, urgent and brave. Mock chronicles her perilous journey from boyhood to womanhood, illuminating all of the obstacles race, class, life circumstances and other people (even well-meaning ones) erected in her path. The narrative is deeply personal and also political in its insistence upon drawing attention to the entire transgender community, which desperately . . .
I love Ta-Nehisi Coates’s unflinching essays on race. They exemplify journalism’s highest calling as a discipline of verification. He consistently eviscerates uniquely American delusions with deep reporting, impregnable facts and powerful prose. Witness this brilliant story in which he lets confederates themselves declare the battle flag’s meaning, quoting long passages of their defense of slavery and white supremacy. Only the willfully ignorant or comprehension impaired can read it and . . .
Months ago, I interviewed Katie Meyler, founder of a nonprofit devoted to getting girls off the street and into school in Liberia. I was so impressed by her story, and the magnitude of her efforts to serve destitute girls, that I held onto my notes, intending to write a long feature about her. The former education reporter in me wanted to collect more data, visit the school, interview students, and see for myself the impact this one passionate woman makes. In short, I wanted to write . . .