We’ve Got to Be Artists of Some Kind

by Jen Paton Chimamanda Adichie has a talk called “the danger of the single story.” She says, the “single story [that] creates stereotypes…that are not untrue…but incomplete.” Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture I watched three stories about American women this weekend: Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture (2010), the Diablo Cody written Charlize Theron “comedy” Young Adult (2011),…

Ways to Be American Abroad: A Working Guide

Every Sunday morning, over the simulacra of breakfast burritos, we have brunch. Sometimes, talk turns to language skills, our relative proficiencies in Russian. This one guy knows Arabic, used to live in Cairo. “How did you learn Arabic?” someone asks him. “How” was the question, not “why,” nonetheless: “I think for the same reason everyone in our generation wanted to,” this guy of my generation says, trying to catch my eye. I’m not having any of this answer, I already know. “After 9/11, I think…everyone just wondered how the hell this happened.” No, no. I don’t speak Arabic, we’re not even in an Arabic speaking country right now, but I’m still, like, NO.