“I had not been prepared for the simple charm of watching someone you love grow. “

So far the most surprising, beautiful sentence in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ We Were Eight Years in Power. It’s about his wife and part of one of the meta-essays that introduce his previously published essays in this collection. Some have aged better than others, but the meta-essays alone are worth the read alone. Man, that guy can write.

What is the difference between a fat woman and a voluminous one? Botero was being defensive, but he also accidentally gave us a new way to consider the body. Fat is an artifact of internal bodily processes, the result of a breakdown of chemicals that eventually push us outward. Volume is about taking up space in the world, displacing what is around us. Or, alternately, a level of loudness. Maybe the new body has nowhere to go but up.

The Trash Heap Has Spoken

Terrific essay on “the power and danger of women who take up space” by Carmen Maria Machado.