Matthew Thomas


The New Yorker: Jackson Heights, Roller Skates

From the Culture Desk:

Our rink, long gone now, was the USA Roller Skating Rink, on Roosevelt Avenue. It was a miniature democracy that gathered all ages, sexes, races, and styles to vote with their wheels when a new song came over the speakers. Pre-teen birthday partygoers shared space with older funky characters in technicolor outfits, who weaved backwards between them like comets, their legs scissoring, their arms waving to the beat. When the d.j. switched it up—“Let’s bring all the girls out here now, girls only,” or “This song goes out to the couples”—the mood changed, became more interesting, more complicated. The boys, unimpeded by returned gazes, went to watch the bodies of their crushes move blessedly through space. The older generation took to the floor to skate-dance amid subdued light shows, in a communion that countered the atomization captured in the classic study “Bowling Alone” (whose thesis may explain the contemporary rise in roller derby). People seek community, and sometimes they find it on skates. Continue reading... When Will I Die? How I Decided Whether to Test for Early-Onset Alzheimer’s

The disease killed my father. At 39, I had to choose how much I wanted to know about my own fate. 

People ask me all the time if I want to find out how and when I’m going to die. But that’s not exactly how they ask it. What they ask is whether I’m going to get tested for the gene associated with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. It’s hard, though, to miss the subtext in the question: How morbidly curious are you? How much terror can you withstand? Continue reading...

Author Matthew Thomas on Alice McDermott (Baltimore Magazine)

Matthew Thomas studied with Alice McDermott when he was a Writing Seminars student at Johns Hopkins University. When asked about McDermott for our March profile, he sent the following essay about her as an instructor, writer, and mentor. It beautifully amplifies the importance of McDermott’s contributions in the classroom and beyond. Thomas’s debut novel, We Are Not Ourselves, will be published by Simon and Schuster in September.

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©2017 Matthew Thomas