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The Quality Of Life Report by Meghan Daum

The Quality of Life Report, 2017

April 18, 2017

At the beginning of this year I drove from New York City to Iowa City, where I had a semester-long post as a visiting professor at the University of Iowa. My midpoint stop was Oberlin, Ohio; an old friend who teaches in the music conservatory at Ober [...]

Illustration by Julien Pacaud

Long Way Home

When I first wrote the Dutchman, ten years ago, he was sailing around the world alone for the sixth and final time. His plan, he said, was to keep on sailing, continuing this last circumnavigation until the day he died, or until he found some unknown place “behind the horizon.” At the time, Henk De Velde was somewhere in the Atlantic, slightly closer to South America than any other continent, but not very close to anywhere at all. I was on the nineteenth floor of an office building in midtown Manhattan, working at an adventure travel magazine, looking for stories. De Velde’s journey had a nice hook, a neat beginning, but no real end, which was kind of the point. Several years into our correspondence, I told an editor about it. His response was that De Velde probably needed to die for the story to have a proper arc. In the meantime, De Velde kept sailing, and I kept following him—less and less as the years piled on but well after the magazine shut down and I’d left New York. I still wanted to know what shape De Velde’s story would take, if he would ever find what he was looking for, and if he did ever get behind the horizon, where that might be.

Photo by Rianna Pauline Starheim

Rainbow Weather in Kabul

In Afghanistan, kite string is run through crushed-glass powder before it is coiled. Kite strings bite. My instinct when I’m cut is to grab the string tighter. But I have to let go. I’d rather be up with the kites. Catching the wind with the helicopters, the mountains, the birds—warblers, crows, rosefinches, bluethroats, blackbirds, doves.

VQR Online

VQR Thanks Outgoing Publisher Jon Parrish Peede

September 28, 2016

Virginia Quarterly Review Publisher Jon Parrish Peede, who has led the publication for the past five years, has resigned effective September 30 to return to his writing career, nonprofit consulting, and arts advocacy. 

This year, Peede oversaw the operational transition of VQR from the office of the Vice President for Research to the newly established Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. Media Studies Professor Siva Vaidhyanathan, the founding director of the center, thanked Peede for his service to the publication.

“Jon Peede has served VQR with creativity and commitment through much transition,” Vaidhyanathan said. “He served during a time of great financial pressure on magazines. Throughout his time with VQR, the magazine published some of the finest prose, fiction, poetry, and photography in the world.”

Posts from Meera Subramanian's Instagram series, "Elemental India."


December 7, 2015

#VQRtruestory is our new social-media experiment in nonfiction, bringing readers compelling stories and images from around the world, all through our Instagram feed.

The Death of Pablo Neruda

May 5, 2015

“Looking back now, I could have so easily walked to that cemetery and joined the men and women chanting next to his coffin,” Ariel Dorfman confesses. In addition to the documentary, "The Death of Pablo Neruda," this multimedia work includes an essay, “From Beyond the Grave,” by Dorfman, poetry by Martín Espada and Idra Novey, and a translation of Neruda’s poem “XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu” by Mark Eisner.