One night, hours after Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered residents of Illinois to shelter in place after the number of Covid-19 diagnoses in the state rose to more than 1,000 cases, my roommate and I decided to watch The Big Sick. We thought a comedy would take our minds off the outside world. In the film, the protagonist’s love interest comes down with a lung infection out of nowhere, and doctors ask him if he consents to putting her in a medically induced coma. My roommate, Charlette, paused the movie and turned to me.
“I think I should get your parents’…
The morning after Donald Trump was elected, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio decided it was finally time to write the book. Back in 2010, when she published an anonymous essay about her life as a young undocumented immigrant at 21, agents threw themselves at her, imploring her to write a memoir. But Cornejo Villavicencio, now a 30-year-old PhD student at Yale University, didn’t want her first book “to be a rueful tale about being a sickly Victorian orphan with tuberculosis who didn’t have a Social Security number.” In other words, she didn’t want to write for the white gaze.
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