reprinted from Boulevard, Vol. 36 №1, Fall 2020

Amba Sen, Rani of Jhansi Regiment, circa 1944

Every family has a prevailing mythos about the role they played in history. It becomes a kind of origin story — anything that happened before that moment falls away. On my mother’s side, that story begins with my grandmother’s enthusiasm for the…

I got a writing prompt in my inbox to make a list of 100 things I’m observing, doing, feeling, or thinking during the pandemic. Here are 20.

  1. I can’t stand this world the way it is. I don’t want an apocalypse.
  2. When was it bearable to see toddler face down…

Trump Tower, New York City, 10/19/19 People marched from Union Square to Trump Tower to announce the beginning of a movement to demand the Trump Pence regime get #OutNow.

On Saturday, October 19th, the #OutNow movement was born, beginning with “five weeks of protest to launch, spread, and grow an unrelenting non-violent mass movement of protests that continue week after week to demand that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go — NOW!

I’m not a historian or an academic. I’m a writer and reader who wants a better future for humanity.

Girls from Nazi-occupied Austria cheer on Hitler

I remember a moment when I looked up and caught my first glimpse of a protracted and slow dawning of reality. It was late at night, sometime in August of 2016, and I couldn’t sleep. As I was scrolling through Facebook (bad idea when you can’t sleep), I saw a…

Indigenous elder Nathan Phillips and MAGA youth Nick Sandmann on January 18, 2019.

When the footage of the teen boys in MAGA hats surrounding a Native American elder first started circulating, I was finishing revisions on my novel and getting ready for a writing conference. I glanced at the photos and the memes comparing the smirking, raucous white youth to the sneering white…

Are You More than a Voter?

October 30, 2018

This morning I woke up to news that Trump has threatened to end birthright citizenship for children born in this country to non-citizen parents. When it comes to immigration, the trajectory of this regime toward all out ethnic cleansing has been clear. Rhetoric around MS13 and “criminal” undocumented immigrants on…

June 14, 2018

This was a headline in my Facebook newsfeed this morning.

What’s Going on at the Border is Numbing, but Going Numb is a Luxury We Can’t Afford — Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

A crying Honduran toddler is sandwiched between her mother and a large white border patrol vehicle…

I just finished watching all four parts of the CNN documentary series 1968: The Year that Changed America. It takes viewers through each season of that pivotal year, the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, the assassinations of MLK and Bobby Kennedy, the Vietnam War and the anti-war protests, a tumultuous election…

Chaitali Sen

Author of The Pathless Sky. (novel, Europa Editions, 2015)

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