My father killed his mother, confessed it to me in his last year as the black dog of depression chased him toward his own grave.

White Space

She had an endless appetite for information, and even though it was just a million different angles on the same collapsing towers, she filed away the details, she hungered for information.

A Brief Disclaimer To Whom It May Concern on the Chapter You Are About to Read

Princess Ugmo was a sulky curled-up thing with the skin of a plucked and boiled chicken. She sat apart from the other patients in the dayroom, scanning the gossip pages, searching vainly for her boldfaced name.

Born on Sunday 

All of the Peace Corps medics are male and white. The most retiring of these, Claude Renner, is the one unlucky enough to be nearest the entrance when the soldier bursts inside, carrying his unconscious son in his arms.


It’s going to happen today. He can feel it waiting to happen, because he’s wanted to know for so long. There are people who live to satisfy curiosity, and Derrick is one of them.

The Kings of Gowanus

He spent his days, like most boys in the neighborhood, walking around, looking to get something for nothing. But today was fight day.

Getting in Trouble

I drive slowly and I know people are angry at me—hitting their horns and cursing, giving me the finger. I just smile and keep going.


Vivek prided himself on bringing order to chaos. Lowly intern that he was, Vivek was the face of Ward 10.

Shaking the Dead Geranium 

By age sixteen, he’d won a full scholarship to Emory College. By eighteen, he was convinced that my mother was sucking the life fluids out of his brain and went after her with a bread knife.