Nonfiction | October 22, 2015
Late August 1997
We are having soup for dinner and I am in a terrible mood.
It is a ridiculous soup: vegetable broth with these flimsy noodles shaped like matchsticks. My spoon cannot catch them. And I am hungry. I want six bowls of this lousy soup, but I am not going to ask for seconds because Thomas had already been making jabs about my weight. Thomas, my host brother, is sitting across the table from me. At fifteen, he is a year younger than I and completely unremarkable. He is neither handsome nor intelligent, but he is the firstborn in the family and a boy; therefore his mediocrity in all things has been praised from an early age. My host sister, a year younger still, is clever and eager to gain her parents’ attention. The fact that she consistently fails at this has made her mean. I have no allies among the children in this household. I reach for another dinner roll.
This essay is not currently available online.
If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.
Want to read more?Subscribe Today
SEE THE ISSUE
Nov 08 2019
On Chickens, Children, and Fascism
Before I got baby chicks, I attended chicken class at Wardell’s Feed and Pet, a few miles down the highway. Eric, the chicken class teacher, sold me a brooder. If
Nov 08 2019
Nobody Goes to the Gulag Anymore
At least not in the Czech Republic. But it’s the first thing I need to see. So I take the train from Prague to Pribram, fifty miles to the south.
Aug 05 2019
For all too short a time we were blissfully at one with a white world, one that wasn’t “other” when it fell upon us, for it was, in fact, a