Virginia Quarterly Review

GIVING UP THE GOAT

Nowhere in Central Asia is the contrast between the contemporary and the ancient higher than in Kazakhstan. And nowhere is the interplay between the two more starkly embodied than in professional Kazakh kokpar, where riders fight for control of a headless goat.
OUT TO SEA

When I first wrote the Dutchman, ten years ago, he was sailing around the world alone for the sixth and final time. His plan, he said, was to keep on sailing, continuing this last circumnavigation until the day he died.
SPREAD THE WORD

Although some dialectal variations can be found, ask most English-speaking Americans what fruity concoction they smear on bread with peanut butter, and “jelly” is the answer that will come back. (If “spreadable fruit” is the reply, run. You’re talking to a cyborg.)
WHY SUCCESS WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH

"Many people of color living in this country can likely relate to the onset of outsized ambition at too young an age, an ambition fueled by the sense, often confirmed by ignorance, of being a second-class citizen and needing to claw your way toward equal consideration and some semblance of respect. Many people of color, like me, remember the moment that first began to shape their ambition and what that moment felt like."
WOUNDED WOMEN

The pain of women turns them into kittens and rabbits and sunsets and sordid red satin goddesses, pales them and bloodies them and starves them, delivers them to death camps and sends locks of their hair to the stars. Men put them on trains and under them. Violence turns them celestial. Age turns them old. We can’t look away. We can’t stop imagining new ways for them to hurt.
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