Memento Mori

Memento Mori — September 2, 2014, 5:33 pm

Charles Bowden (1945–2014)

We at Harper’s Magazine are grieved to learn of the sudden passing of long-time contributor Charles Bowden. His articles for the magazine appeared from the 1980s through the early years of the present century, and they could hardly be rivaled for their brutal honesty and intensity. His memoir, “Torch Song,” from the August 1998 issue, is available to read for free, and subscribers can read all the rest of his superb work from the magazine here.

Memento Mori — March 11, 2014, 1:51 pm

Matthew Power (1974–2014)

Remembering a contributor and friend

Matthew Power © Misty Keasler

Memento Mori — December 6, 2013, 12:02 pm

The Leaving of Madiba

Saying goodbye to Nelson Mandela, beloved fighter, visionary, and king

Nelson Mandela in 2007 © Denis Farrell/AP Photo

Memento Mori — October 15, 2013, 6:03 pm

Remembering David Sullivan

On the remarkable life of the subject of “The Man Who Saves You from Yourself”

David Sullivan

Memento Mori — January 14, 2013, 4:30 pm

Remembering Evan S. Connell (1924–2013)

On the life-drawings of an American literary master

Evan S. Connell, Self-Portrait (thumb)

Memento Mori — December 28, 2012, 10:00 am

Larry L. King (1929–2012)

R.I.P. Larry L. King, Harper's Magazine contributor from 1965 to 1971

The son takes up the work where the father drops it, by Walter Appleton Clark (thumb)

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"The past is complicated, and explaining it is not just a trick, but a gamble."
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"Perfectly sane people lose access to housing every day, though the resultant ordeal may undermine some of that sanity, as it might yours and mine."
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Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.

Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.

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"The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion."
Photograph © Nadia Shira Cohen

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