Sometime around 1993, I read an amazing essay by David Quammen. It was called “Thinking about Earthworms” and in it, Quammen talks about something that’s always in the back of my mind, something that has gotten, if anything, worse. I finally got a chance to write about this in a piece for the new Poets & Writers called Way, Way Too Much Information. Quammen’s essay isn’t available online, but you can get it either in Out of the Noosphere: The Best of Outside Magazine (a fantastic collection) or in Quammen’s own Flight of the Iguana.
Yesterday I had a nice interview about magical penis loss with WCCO’s Jack Rice, a thoughtful guy and ex-CIA operative turned radio personality. Jack is currently the 34th most important radio broadcaster in America, and he always travels with Desert Tan Nomex Fire Retardant Gloves because, hey, you never know. I don’t believe the interview is online, but you can see Jack’s blog here.
On Slate’s magazine round-up, Morgan Smith had a nice write-up of my Harper’s magical penis theft story. He notes that “During one 1990 outbreak, ‘[m]en could be seen in the streets of Lagos holding on to their genitalia either openly or discreetly with their hand in their pockets.'” Discreetly indeed.
It’s possible that you’re here because somewhere in West Africa, someone’s penis was stolen. Unfortunate, for them, it’s true. But at least you’re here because of it. Welcome to my so-called blog, where you’ll find links to stories, to others’ great work, and to a bit of fresh material from yours truly.
For those of you who aren’t my mom, here’s the short version of who I am: A long-time freelance writer, with a lot of stories out, including travel writing (narrative, where possible) and other nonfiction inspired by some of my heroes like Shiva Naipaul, Gary Smith, Gay Talese, Liz Gilbert and others. If you want more squat toilets, more great travel to tough places, and more glimpses of key people’s lives, please sign up or read on!