This is a great example of linking a deeply personal experience to a larger social issue, or in this case to social history. Latimer traces her mother’s fear of showing affection to her institutionalization during the 1950s for tuberculosis. Latimer follows this emotional story—of children losing their mother for a time, and then losing much of her affection—and along the way digresses for background on the history of TB in the U.S. She provides a surprise at the end (which we won’t give away). Even without this “reveal,” the piece is compelling; it evokes a mix of outrage, sadness and admiration for the resiliency of Latimer, her mother, even humans in general.
“Quarantined,” by Leah Y. Latimer