Spring 2021

How often do we move in search of the American dream, and at what cost to our sense of community?  This issue explores our perennial quest for self-reinvention—and our new migration patterns during the pandemic. Our contributors also consider what they’ve learned from other cultures in the days when they could travel freely.

The best-selling novelist talks about her many moves and what it’s like to live in the land of the imagination.   

Alissa Medina’s great-grandmother fled the Armenian genocide.  What does it mean when a homeland disappears?

Pythia Peay came from California to the nation’s capital to discover the soul of democracy—and her family’s roots. 

Peter Robinson considers the peripatetic life of the MI-6 agent turned novelist who gave us  “The Quiet American.”

Lindsey Cook worked at a Quaker Girl’s School in Gaza, exploring ethics, politics, and feminism during the Intifada. 

Ramsey Brown helped children in refugee camps in Bosnia then returned to teach their mothers how to protect  themselves. 

 Stranded on a Greek Island, Janet Hubbard helped a friend through chemo and found material for her next book.

Phil Cousineau describes how the Beat  Generation novelist hit the road,  leaving a gifted young daughter  behind.  

Social worker Andrea Plate describes the chaos at a residence for women veterans who face challenges of homelessness and drug addiction. 

After recovering from cancer, Alenka Vrecek pedaled over 2,000 miles from Lake Tahoe to Baja, Mexico. “I didn’t realize I was searching for a home.”

Adonis,  the best-known poet in the Arab world, recalls  the  Syrian village where he was raised.

John Hill, who moved from the Bay of  Killarney to a Swiss chalet, says our notion of home deepens at each stage of life.

In 1973 Bruce Thompson backpacked through Europe and got stranded on a US Air Force base readying for nuclear war.  

After watching her mother stand up to a repressive regime,  Susan Collin Marks dedicated her life to peace-making. 

Terry Ebinger reviews David Byrne’s love letter to America, featuring  a song of inclusion: “Everybody’s Coming to My House.”

FDR’s housing czar Catherine Bauer was keen on planned communities with affordable rents, parks. and art for all. Can we revive her vision now?

Big cities aren’t the only source of creativity.  Architect Rem Koolhaas says rural areas have a long tradition of social and scientific innovation.

Sarah Evans considers Maria Sibylla Merian, a 17th-century Dutch painter who traveled the world to study the life cycle of insects and flowers.  

Related Articles

Novelist Marilynne Robinson examines our tenuous hold on a place and asks why some of us are natural nesters and others born vagabonds.

C.G. Jung’s  homes reflected two sides of his personality—the cosmopolitan psychoanalyst and the recluse who built a house on the banks of a secluded lake. 

For some 19th century immigrants, homesickness was a wasting disease.  Others fared better, finding ways to honor the homes they’d left behind. 

 Phil Cousineau talks about the hero’s (and the heroine’s) journey with all its wonders and temptations — and what it takes to find our way back home.

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