It isn’t easy to read “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma,” novelist Junot Díaz’s beautiful and searing personal essay published in the New Yorker’s April 16 edition. It’s the kind of piece “trigger warnings” were made for, the kind you don’t link to in your group chat without disclaiming. Sitting on a crowded, air-compressed Amtrak car on a cloudy Monday before 8 a.m., waiting to depart for a day trip to Philly, I was in a brain fog after reading it and texted its link to a friend without thinking. Not even five minutes passed before I came to my senses and tried to walk it back, like you would a text you’d mistakenly sent to a parent instead of a lover.

At about 5,000 words, “The Silence” is a #longread and not anybody’s crowdsourced listicle or half-baked take. By way of structure and content, it’s obvious that…

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