Dispatches

Essays

The Contagion of Everyday Life

A pandemic is never only about biological contagion. Much of what we feel, think, and do—far more than I want to admit—is the product of what we perceive or unconsciously mimic in the world around us. Laughter, yawns, ideas, courage, and panic. All of that is contagion.

The Driving Lesson

I had driven a few blocks, but pulled the car over. I looked at my daughter for a moment and realized that God does indeed give only ironic gifts.

Little Car, Big Impact

In the middle of her life, fortunes falling, my mother bought a little car with the beauty of a well-made toy. It was economical, utilitarian, self-effacing, and anti-macho—all the things she needed or wanted at that point.

Reviews

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The Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis, offers the best in reviews, articles and creative non-fiction engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.

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