Kirstin Valdez Quade has had a very unique childhood, and it’s a credit to her art that when she writes about it, I’m instantly there with her, uncomfortable as hell, and reaching, reaching.
When I was 11 and my sister 6, my parents pulled us out of our new Australian school for a six-week-long research trip across the belly of the continent. A year earlier, we had moved from the United States to Canberra, where my dad was doing post-doctorate work in geochemistry at the Australian National University, and now we were setting out to explore this vast new country.
Our four-wheel drive — on loan from the university — was a troop carrier that could, in a pinch, be used to transport prisoners.
Read The Season of the Skulls in the New York Times.