"How Recording My Audiobook Brought Me Closer to My Immigrant Mother." On the scariness of reading aloud and my attempt to build intimacy with my mom. In Literary Hub.
"There's a Reason Demagogues Despise Books." On how poetry and books nurture the interior life in an Arkansas county jail. In Signature Reads.
"Writers Recommend." On my writing process and what I do when I'm stuck, in Poets & Writers.
"Connecting Through Literature." On how high school teachers might use Reading with Patrick in a classroom. In RHI Magazine.
"Letter from Paris." On teaching in Paris after the November attacks. With Albert Wu, in the LA Review of Books.
Those Who Leave. On Elena Ferrante and the stranglehold of ideologies in the 20th century. With Albert Wu, in The Point.
Animal Feelings. On orcas, elephants, apes, the lawsuit against Sea World, and how animals grieve. With Albert Wu, in Public Books.
Imperfect Strollers: On Teju Cole, Ben Lerner, W.G. Sebald, and the Alienated Cosmopolitan. On the 21st century flâneur, dislocated and wayward. With Albert Wu, in the LA Review of Books.
"Scientology: The Mystery Sandwich." On Scientology, Tolstoy, and the highs and lows of religious faith. With Albert Wu, in the LA Review of Books.
"Take the Good Life and Be Happy." On the FX series The Americans and whether ideology can win against its greatest threat: the comfort of intimacy. With Albert Wu, in the LA Review of Books.
"I Dare Not": The Muted Style of Ha Jin. On the Chinese trope of the exiled scholar-hero, and where Ha Jin fits in. With Albert Wu, in the LA Review of Books.
In Hell, "We Shall be Free." On evil and liberty in Breaking Bad, with Walter White as Milton's Satan. With Albert Wu, in the LA Review of Books.
"The Miraculous Privilege of Existence." On Marilynne Robinson and her world of quietly radical encounters. With Albert Wu, in the LA Review of Books.
"The Lost Student." On leaving behind a student in rural Arkansas. In The New York Times Magazine.