The American Boy
BY DANIEL MENDELSOHN
One spring day in 1976, when I was fifteen years old and couldn’t keep my secret any longer, I went into the bedroom I shared with my older brother, sat down at the little oak desk we did our homework on, and began an anguished letter to a total stranger who lived on the other side of the world. More...
The Inheritance of Tools
BY SCOTT RUSSELL SANDERS
At just about the hour when my father died, soon after dawn one February morning when ice coated the windows like cataracts, I banged my thumb with a hammer. Naturally I swore at the hammer, the reckless thing, and in the moment of swearing I thought of what my father would say: "If you'd try hitting the nail it would go in a whole lot faster. Don't you know your thumb's not as hard as that hammer?" More...