The Dinosaur in My Living Room

Dad carries the little desk and sets it down in the kitchen. As if it’s just an ordinary desk. It was built in 1720, predating the Industrial Revolution. Mom and Dad show me how to find the clues to unlock its secrets. See here, the nicks in the wood along the edges? Made by knife,…

When a Book Finds You at Just the Right Time

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn found me when I was 11, the same age as the main character when the book begins. A Little Paris Bookshop found me just after a breakup. To the Lighthouse found me a few weeks ago— I guess I’ll figure out what brought her to me in the retrospective. But…

A Portrait of the Craft as an Essay

I started writing a collection of essays about what I was sure would be a very short recap of my grandmother’s life. Her immigration story was the only thing that seemed interesting to me about her; her forty years at JCPenny would not make for good writing material, I thought. And I already knew most…

On Moving for the First Time

I have lived in the same place for 19 years. We moved to what is now my old house when I was three years old, and needless to say, I remember very little of that transition. I was probably too busy being a holy terror, running around in a tutu and camo pants insisting everyone pay…

Discovering My Family History

I didn’t want to write about this, because it’s so personal. But I think it’s important to let people see stuff like this, so here we are. My Creative Writing major (which my brother insists will condemn me to the barista life) requires a twenty- to twenty-five-page piece of creative writing. I chose to write…