Narratively

First-person stories that offer intimate takes on what it means to be human.
First-person stories that offer intimate takes on what it means to be human.
                   

Living with a Skinhead, While Living in My Brown Skin

As an Indonesian adoptee in Sweden, I was alarmed when my new stepbrother started dabbling in white supremacy. I didn’t realize how far it had gone until I was lying in a dark field, getting kicked in the chest with a steel-toed boot.

I Have Never Been to the Place Where I am From, But I Will Imagine It For Us

I have learned all the stories my father was too protective of me to share, parsed the conflicting histories and studied the maps. Now I can finally recreate our family’s lost home, in a once small village in Palestine.

Murder to Middle School

I was 13 when my father was killed right before my eyes. Two weeks later, while everyone in our small town obsessed over his grizzly death, I embarked on a new horror: 8th grade.

My Strange, Seductive Stint as the Hugh Hefner of Moscow

As a disillusioned cub reporter, I jumped at the bizarro job of a lifetime: editor-in-chief of Playboy Russia when nouveau riche Moscow was a hedonistic playground of sex, drugs, and early-stage capitalsm — until Putin’s rise brought my reign to a...

The Fastest Formerly Blind ‘Biker Babe’ in Wichita

I woke up one morning in my mid-thirties and suddenly couldn’t see. I vowed if I ever got my vision back I would live life differently — I had no idea that would mean flying down highways twice the speed limit with a colorful crew in the dead of...

My High School’s Secret Fantasy Slut League

Our wealthy California school had a hookup game where boys “drafted” girls, then tracked their sex acts. A decade later, my classmates still debate whether “FSL” was harmless teenage hijinks or a symptom of toxic rot in our elite enclave.

I Woke Up From a Coma and Couldn’t Escape the Guy Pretending to Be My Boyfriend

I fell 20 feet out of a redwood tree and when I came to, my memory was shattered and a man I’d broken things off with was telling everyone we were together. Then I found out why.

Diary of a Bachelor Who Suddenly Became a Solo Dad to a Teenage Girl

I was an 18-year-old father who couldn’t be there for his baby. I know, you’ve heard this one before. How about this part? Twelve years later Krystasia’s mom walked away and never came back.

Queen of the S.R.O.

In gritty 1980s New York, one West Village flophouse became a last-chance refuge for addicts, criminals, LGBTQ runaways, and anyone with nowhere left to go. And my mom was their queen.