“Nothing But Gifts,” by Edwin Dobb
Published in the current issue of Harper’s Magazine, the essay “Nothing But Gifts,” by Edwin Dobb, is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing we’ve lately had the pleasure of reading. Discursive and tangential in form, the essay nonetheless always returns to the author’s central inquiry: What does it mean to choose to love? The adoptive father of two children conceived by another man, Dobb explores the daunting complexity of human relationships — with other humans, with Nature, with oneself — and, somehow, after some consideration, makes the whole messy business seem astonishingly simple. “Nothing But Gifts” feels like Truth on the Page. We’re going to go read it again.