personal history


Being Raised by Two Narcissists Taught Me How to Deal with Trump

Two years in, some people are still expecting one of his scandals to bring him down. I know better.


I Got Bussed into a Rich School and Saw the Unfairness of America

It was like entering another world—and it taught me all I needed to know about inequality and class privilege.


Despite Everything, I Still Love New York

The city isn't the same. That doesn't mean we should give up on it.


I Went Through All of My Old Tweets and Was Horrified by What I Found

Deleting my tweets one at a time was an education in self-loathing and shame—and 100-percent worth it.


The Things I Can’t Ask My Mother

A story of love, addiction, gay marriage, and forgiveness.


I've Helped Separate Kids from Parents in Court, So I Know How Awful It Is

The job was among the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.


My Awful, Profitable 18 Months as a Trump-Obsessed Journalist

Has Donald Trump becoming president been bad for the world but good for my career?


I Bought a Condo and It Ruined My Life

Nearly a decade after the collapse of the housing bubble, I'm still feeling the consequences.


I Can't Visit My Sons in Prison Because of My Unpaid Traffic Tickets

A mother facing terminal cancer and debts she'll never be able to pay wonders if she'll ever see her incarcerated children again.


Fear, Flooding, Harvey, and Me

How I learned to fear the rain.


What My Father the Pathological Liar Taught Me About Trump

Life under the new president has been unsettling, but also strangely familiar.


A Portrait of Coal Town on the Brink of Death

A failing coal industry has left many residents of West Virginia with few options: move away, die, or try to scrape out a future in an unforgiving economic climate.