The Swarthmorean, Writing About Race, and Me

By Rachel Pastan

There’s a story the writer Antonya Nelson tells about her Kansas childhood. When she was five years old, she, her father, her pregnant mother, and her four siblings were in their station wagon in a shopping center parking lot when a tornado came through, picked the car up, turned it over, and dropped it again. Somehow, none of the seven, unseatbelted people were hurt.

What a thing to happen! A parking lot full of cars and theirs the only one caught in the whirlwind. What were the chances?

What were…

Rachel Pastan

Rachel Pastan is a novelist and writing teacher, and the former editor of The Swarthmorean newspaper. More at

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