• ruth han

    Horror during Wartime

    Thoughts on Babak Anvari’s film Under the Shadow

    March 16, 2017
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    I am fascinated by the horror genre. I read scary stories, watch horror films, and listen to creepy podcasts. My favorite works in this genre don’t just thrill me. They also rattle my mind and push me to grapple with heavy questions about human nature: about how humans react to threat or danger, or about […]

    to be a good neighbor

    when to (or not to) intervene

    November 3, 2016
    article by , illustrated by

    On this particularly quiet Friday summer night, I am in my room on Gray’s Inn Road, London, going through Tinder profiles, carelessly swiping right in the hopes of getting a match. I have only made 10 matches since I moved here a week ago. My Tinder love life has always sucked. I text them, but […]

    it started with a swan

    the inflatable pool toy craze

    September 22, 2016
    article by , illustrated by

    Have you seen the shapes inflatable pool toys are taking these days? And the preteens that are posing with them? It seems like every zoo animal under the sun has been caricatured and set adrift in infinity pools across America. And not just real animals—fictional animals, too! Animals we wish were animals. From Montauk to […]

    nordic noir

    from macabre to mainstream

    April 21, 2016
    article by , illustrated by

    You’ve probably heard the story before. The protagonist: a pessimistic, troubled detective, far from classically heroic. The premise: a gripping, intricate, and disturbing crime. The backdrop: a rainy, bleak northern European city. The twist: a complexity in the detective’s personal life, never touted as a big deal but usually compelling and maybe surprising. The romance: […]

    the point at which we live

    “perfect memory” and a train ride

    April 14, 2016
    article by , illustrated by

    It’s 1:30 a.m., and I’m on an Amtrak, trundling through a generic Westchester suburb. There are houses lined up alongside each other that look exactly identical, against a backdrop of tall, shabby apartment buildings with cages in front of their windows. In the distance is the skyline of New York City on a Saturday night, […]