One of the many miracles of good storytelling is in the way that it balances tension between the universal and the particular. This paradox is especially resonant in nonfiction, where a storyteller relies on fact and memory to buttress their craft.
For instance, consider the essays we’ve selected for this issue. They emerge from the contemplation of bodies that are not our own, histories foreign to us, and experiences most will never have. And yet, for all the distinct, individual focus — for all the supposedly limited scope — when we finished them, we did not feel alone.
We hope you find these three pieces as miraculous as we do.