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Congo: the Story of One Family’s Endurance

The tragedies in the Congo brought to focus in the most personal, human way

Lucky Jews

Few Jews now live in Poland, but their existence as hand-carved miniatures rolls on. Erica Lehrer explores the cultural dimensions of these figurines.
Man with Kavadi. Photo by Jerome Lim

Living with Pain: The Desert Fathers and Mothers, the...

In Singapore my husband and I took our children to Thaipusam, a Tamil religious festival. Hindu penitents carry milk jugs, impale themselves with fishhooks,...
A Sea of Type by Evan P. Cordes

Losing Translation to the Marketplace of Ideas

Something is keeping books from abroad scarce, even as the margins and flexibility afforded by e-books make publishing risks lower than they’ve ever been

The Lost Hour

Each year we hand an hour over to the strange observance of Daylight Savings Time. Originally created to extend productivity for agricultural workers during...

The Triumph of the Yoginis

When I came to India, I found that there are millions of ways to approach the divine. Many homes have their own devotional altar....

The Case for Wikipedia

Last weekend as Harvard prepared to take on Yale for Ivy League football bragging rights, a “Yale cites Wikipedia” poster flashed on College GameDay....

Allen Ginsberg: An Encounter

When I interviewed Allen Ginsberg I said something right off that startled him, though what I said was simple and not raunchy in the least, as if raunchy would ever affront a poet who liked saying, "Why don't we get right down to the cunt of the matter?"

In the Pocket

I’ve never had that nightmare where I’m standing on stage naked, paralyzed in the footlights and the audience’s howling laughter. I was born and eventually...

Timeout on the Winter Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has a problem. With Stockholm, Krakow, Lviv, and now Oslo pulling out of the running to host the 2022...
David Sedaris

David Sedaris is Sick of Himself

David Sedaris and I were riding down Commonwealth Avenue in the backseat of his media escort’s Chevy Impala. I was trying to take notes without getting carsick, and he was pointing out local businesses, wondering aloud if their owners were important enough to rate a Wikipedia entry.

Poverty is not a Culture

Sendhil Mullainathan had studied poverty for years, and something haunted him in nearly every study. Born into a small rural village in India, the Harvard behavioral economist and winner of the MacArthur Fellowship—commonly known as a “genius grant”—was inherently skeptical of the narrative that the poor somehow deserve their lot due to a lack of discipline.