“Exterminatrix”: I review Sarah Schulman’s “Rat Bohemia”

for AmCon: I spent last weekend at the Gay Christian Network Conference in Houston, and I needed something to read on the plane. Something short, punchy, an in-flight entertainment that could keep my attention after an event that is equal parts spiritually uplifting and emotionally harrowing. I threw Sarah Schulman’s Rat Bohemia into my bag and grinned as I set my alarm for 1995. More fool me.Rat Bohemia is in some ways the scathing nostalgia trip I was hoping for. It’s sometimes a satire of … [Read more...]

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“The End of Hitting Rock Bottom” and My Actual Most-Unpopular Opinion

This is a very good article from the Boston Globe (h/t Maia Szalavitz, whom you should follow if this sort of thing interests you):Shortly after 1 a.m. on March 27, Susan Knade awoke to the sound of her cellphone ringing. It was her 21-year-old daughter, Caroline, calling. She was crying. Please, Caroline said. Please, come pick me up.Nine hours before, the woman running the halfway house had told Susan that Caroline could stay so long as she passed a drug test after the weekend. But … [Read more...]

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“Married, With Roommates: Why My Wife and I Choose to Live in a Group House”: Vox

voxes: ...Once we saved up enough money to buy a house of our own in Washington, DC's Petworth neighborhood, we deliberately chose a place in which we would always have room for housemates, even if we had kids in the future. As soon as we closed on our house, our first purchase was a long dining room table that could accommodate our group dinners.For us, living in a group house was not a phase to grow out of but a lifestyle choice that valued people over privacy. Sure, we lose certain … [Read more...]

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From Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, “The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture”

Will told me the story of relocating his family to be part of a church that takes community seriously. After a year in the new location, he met with one of his pastors to talk about how things were going. Life was good, Will reflected, and he was grateful for the welcome that he and his family had received at the new church. But he wasn't sure that he was experiencing the community he had expected. Frankly, Will had hoped for more.The pastor listened to his misgivings, then asked how long … [Read more...]

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My Top 10 Young Adult & Middle-Grade Novels About Drugs and Addiction

at The Fix: The YA addiction novel has become its own mini-industry. Which ones offer insight instead of hawking clichés? Below you'll find the best addiction-related YA and middle-grade fiction I could find. more--and a couple notes. That Alaya Dawn Johnson joint is like the most DC thing I've ever read, it was glorious. I wrote earlier about the book and movie of The Spectacular Now.I just realized that I left off Because of Winn-Dixie literally by mistake! It really should have ranked … [Read more...]

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“Fragile Unions Like the One That Conceived Me”: Matthew Loftus

on the way two recovering alcoholics' troubled marriage is still bearing fruit, decades after they almost split up: I was six months old, and my mother was ready to leave. My dad had been remarking for some time that he did not want to be married anymore, that it just wasn’t working out for him. My mother had tired of saying that that was fine.They couldn’t communicate much beyond that, though she did know how to make things dramatic. Lacking funds for a suitcase, she piled our belongings in … [Read more...]

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Lay Celibacy and Two Kinds of Eschatological Witness

I am all about the clickbait headlines today, people.Anyway, I did a talk recently on "The Radical Challenge of Celibacy." It wasn't esp well-structured and needs a lot of conceptual work, but I did like the ending, where I contrasted two types of eschatological witness.Catholics may be familiar with the idea that celibacy is a witness to our life in Heaven, where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. This is often discussed in terms of priestly or monastic celibacy, but it's … [Read more...]

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