Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado on being an adjunct:

I don’t want to give away my expertise for so little. But I don’t want to stop teaching, and I don’t want my students to be afraid to reach out to me after we part, either—I don’t want them to do what I would have done. I thrive on their news: they’re heading to graduate school, or they’re submitting work to be published, or are publishing, or have a new project. I don’t only want to teach; I want teaching to be a career, something that I can afford to keep doing.

Illustration by Rachel Levit

Carmen Maria Machado on memories of Chuck E. Cheese:

“The interior smelled like a roller rink, a pungent fusion of sweat and grease. The pizzas were homogeneous discs of cheese, rubbery and uniform and completely unchallenging in any way—to my eight-year-old mind, perfect. The arcade seemed like a gateway into some pseudo-adult universe.”

Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty

The Boy Scouts’ Image Problem

In 2012, donations to the Boy Scouts dropped to $27 million from over $61 million the previous year. Carmen Maria Machado on why corporate sponsors are abandoning support of the organization:

“Large, publicly traded companies must contend with a simple economic equation: public support for gay rights is consistently climbing, which means that gay people’s buying power—not just their own, but that of their friends, families, and allies—is growing. … By extension, the same appears to be true of nonprofits.”


Top image by Brandon Chew/NPR

Esme Weijun Wang’s The Border of Paradise is chock-full of secrets, betrayals, death, incest, a crumbling mansion and a terrible fire – but reviewer Carmen Maria Machado says Wang’s beautiful writing pulls the book back from the edge of pulp:

The result — the story of an American family stretched and manipulated into impossible shapes — is an extraordinary literary and gothic novel of the highest order

Find the full review here.

– Petra