Selected Work

Heading in One Direction

A tour of contemporary fandom

Originally published January 17, 2020 in Times Literary Supplement

Anyone can be a fan, and almost everyone is. Perhaps this low bar to entry explains why fans don’t get much respect: a fan is a follower, a hanger-on, one in a crowd of interchangeable masses.

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Flight Shame

The climate hazards of air travel

Originally published August 31, 2019 in NYR Daily

In mid-August, to much fanfare, sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg set sail from England on the Malizia II, a solar-powered yacht. With a small crew, she embarked on a journey across the Atlantic in order to attend the UN Climate Action summit in New York in September.

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The new feminist armpit hair revolution

Half-statement, half-ornament

Originally published June 24, 2019 in The Guardian

I am usually late to catch on to shifts in the zeitgeist; this one came to my attention just recently. While watching the HBO show High Maintenance, I noticed that Lee, the protagonist’s hip and beautiful love interest, was sporting hairy armpits.

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Equipment for Living

Michael Pollan and Leslie Jamison, sober and intoxicated

Originally published June 5, 2018 in The Nation

In December of 1934, an unemployed stockbroker named Bill Wilson checked himself into Towns Hospital in Manhattan. He had a habit of consuming more than two quarts of whiskey per day, and his wife had implored him to get help.

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An Ad Hoc Affair

Jane Jacobs's clear-eyed vision of humanity

Originally published February 3, 2017 in The Nation

In 1956, Jane Jacobs was 39 years old, working as a staff writer at Architectural Forum. Her boss, unable to attend a conference at Harvard, asked her to go in his stead and give a talk on land banking.

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