May 11

An Existential Crisis in the Bookstore

You know the feeling.

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Sometimes you walk into a bookstore, unsure of what exactly you’re looking for but also deeply invested in the idea that THE book YOU need is on one of those shelves.

That was me yesterday. After walking around the SoHo and the East Village for a while, elegantly depressed, I wandered into McNally Jackson Bookstore on Prince Street. I was hoping to find not a book, but THE book that would bring me back into my body.

Today’s voice-note is about how that book found me. It’s Generations by Lucille Clifton. And though I’m only a few chapters into the memoir, I’m grateful Miss Clifton was kind enough to come looking for me.

“Who remembers the names of the slaves,” she writes directly to me, directly to all of us. “Only the children of slaves.”

Yes, Miss Clifton. This is the book.