Memory Games

Remembering: What we choose to push away and what happens when we face it.

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Can German Atonement Teach America to Finally Face Slavery?

While living abroad I was struck by how Germans confront the darkest parts of their past—they even have a word for the process. When I learned about my American family’s slave-owning history, I wondered, ‘Shouldn’t we?’

Losing Our Memory and Finding Each Other

A battle with Lyme Disease decimated my memory right as Alzheimer’s did the same to my grandfather—but surrendering our thoughts brought us closer together than ever.

My Mother’s First Climax

As a medley of painful life transitions builds to a crescendo, my eighty-seven-year-old father seizes the chance to open up about one particularly personal marital moment.

The Mysterious Matriarch in My Mind

The steadfast image of my proud Native American great-great-great-grandmother has given me a strong sense of self for years. Does that all change if I realize that I made her up?

Left Out of the Greatest Generation

As the millions of men who saw combat during World War II reach their golden years, those who missed the horrors and heroics of battle are resigned to wonder what would have been.

The Nearly-Plausible Life of Albert Haut

Remembering the grandfather I never knew.