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Ann Neumann

Ann Neumann is author of The Good Death (Beacon, 2016) and has written for Harper’s, the New York Times, the Baffler, and other publications. 

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The Right to Be Let Alone

Summer 2019 | Essays

Richard is on his front porch smoking a cigarette; the rest of the street is deserted. From his chair you can see a round, white surveillance camera at the end of the block, craning from its mount on a telephone pole. Per capita, Lancaster is one of the most heavily surveilled cities in the country, with about one camera for every 350 people.

Kimo v. the State

Winter 2018 | Essays

Kimo is early, anxious. He propped open the doors of his bodega hours ago, left his oldest son, Mohammed, behind the counter. Now he’s outside the Department of Consumer Affairs, which doesn’t open for another forty-five minutes. Nine-to-fivers hustle past. The sun has not yet struck the last of Broadway’s thirteen miles.

Photograph by Elizabeth Felicella

Omnipresence

Spring 2018 | Essays

Tiffany—“like Tiffany & Co.”—has lived here her whole life. Her hair is woven into a neat French twist. “Cops come and sit in here,” she says, waving her hand at the shadows on the small plaza around us. A white plastic bag rustles in a spring tree. Tufts of white flowers cover the branches like a sweater, against the chill of early evening. We raise our voices over the noise of a generator, one of a score of rumbling machines across the city that has flooded housing projects with chemical light, noise, and the guise of safety for five years.

Tiffany needs to fix dinner; her kids are hungry. Her forty-first birthday is coming up. Tomorrow she’s going to a pole-dancing class with friends. “You look good,” I say. She tosses a hello to a passing neighbor who’s pushing an overflowing grocery cart. Her gold hoop earrings sparkle.

Photo by James Sprankle

Faith and Its Limits

Winter 2017 | Essays

1. Connor’s only two, but he’s big for his age. Healthy. Bumping and charging around Dr. Katie’s examination room like it’s play time. Terrific two. And he is healthy, except that he needs a new liver. Sooner rather than later. His blood t [...]