Hunting for a Lesbian Canon


Best of 2018

We’re away until January 2, but we’re reposting some of our favorite pieces from 2018. Enjoy your holiday!

At the Aligre flea market near my Parisian flat, I haggle over a trinket I’ve decided to give to my on-the-rocks lover. It is a rock, a small but well-shined one. Twenty euros is too much, I insist. I’m from Ukraine, I tell the seller, in an attempt to get sympathy for my country’s political climate in the form of a discount. He replies that our eyes are drawn to objects that can read us between the lines. I pay the twenty.

Let’s back up: as a Ukrainian kiddo during the fall of the Soviet Union, at six years old, I was held back from starting school while my family awaited immigration approval. The process dragged on for over a year, and when we were finally granted entry into the American Midwest as Jewish refugees, I was seven, and my literacy a club-footed Cyrillic. I was put into an Orthodox Jewish school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and began groping my way through two more alphabets, English and Hebrew. The page transformed into a vertical stage, complete with curtains of chattering.