‘Uncultured’: The Intergenerational Trauma of Girls Growing up in Cults

Daniella Mestyanek Young’s powerfully immersive and exceptionally honest debut memoir Uncultured opens with a scene of Young standing in line to get spanked by Uncle Zephaniah. This man is not her blood uncle, but what the kids in the Children of God cult call the men in the community. The women are called “Aunties.” Young […]

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My Lithuanian Holocaust Survivor Grandmother—

BEFORE: Hot water burbled in samovars. You strolled cobblestone streets, clicking your heels. DURING: You sipped grass soup. Dug the ditch for your murdered mother. AFTER: You slaved stitching stockings in sweatshops. My alcoholic grandfather cracked open your skull with a cast-iron skillet. You danced at Roseland Ballroom, smelling of bleach and herring, wearing tangerine-colored wigs. You played Ken […]

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Bunks

I’ve heard all these years about the bunks and their hardness. I’ve never felt them. I’ve only heard their stories. But, now I’m in a bunk, and I probably shouldn’t be here. I’m breaking rules as usual. I want to feel what this hard surface feels like on my back. I am lying down, and […]

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