Jenny Aurthur | Longreads | May 2018 | 28 minutes (6,886 words)

On the Monday before Thanksgiving in 2004, my father went missing. I was at the Santa Monica apartment I’d been subletting to a friend while working for three months in New York City, getting ready for bed when my phone rang. It was my mother, wondering if I’d spoken to him. I had not seen or heard from my dad since he’d picked me up from the JetBlue terminal at the Long Beach Airport three days earlier. I was 30 and had returned home to L.A. from New York to spend the holiday with my family.

I’d never missed Turkey Day with my folks. Nothing about my childhood had been typical. I was raised by atheist, socialist activists who called me “Jenny Marx,” never just Jenny, after Karl Marx’s wife. They skipped religious holidays, but observed Thanksgiving, well…

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