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What is summer made of? The smell of cut grass behind the gasoline of a lawnmower. Ponds, lakes, and oceans. The first swim. A sunburn. A crown you’ve made of flowers. Blackberry bush prickers. Fat red tomatoes sliced thin and salted. First hot dog off the grill. Stargazing, spooning, and sleeping with the windows open. Two bodies, naked and entwined. Throbbing light from fireflies. Nina MacLaughlin’s long essay (first published by Paris Review) brims with a searching honesty and insight about what this season has meant in our pasts and what it might mean in our lives ahead.
Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake Siren: Ovid Resung and the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head. Formerly an editor at The Boston Phoenix, she worked for nine years as a carpenter, and is now a books columnist for The Boston Globe.