Mallary is writing a literary memoir following her harrowing but ultimately hopeful journey — from a childhood with anorexia to her present-day reality as a mother who still lives with the disorder’s imprints. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Tampa Bay Times, Harvard University's Nieman Storyboard, and more. Here's a selection of recent essays...
"Finding some semblance of peace with the past builds our strength. It prepares us for the reality that we may always carry hardships, grief, baggage. But over time, we can disperse their load in ways that no longer weigh us down." [Read more]
As I sank my teeth into my veggie burger, I could sense my 5-year-old daughter’s stare.
“Mommy, why does your burger look different?” she asked in her singsong voice.
“It’s a veggie burger, sweetie. It’s made differently from yours.”
“But mommy, why is it different from ours?” my 4-year-old son wondered.
“Well,” I said, “it doesn’t have meat.”
“Mommy’s a vegetarian,” my husband declared, exposing our children to a big word that I have tried to keep small in our household. ... [Read more]
The day after my family and I were diagnosed with Covid-19 last September, I made myself a cup of coffee. I had been awake most of the night with chills and hoped I’d find comfort in its familiar aroma and warmth.
I lowered my face to the surface of my mug and inhaled. Nothing. I started searching for smell wherever I could. In the bathroom, I untwisted the cap on one of my perfume bottles and couldn’t detect its jasmine fragrance. I brought a candle up to my nose, but it was scentless.... [Read more]
Before my daughter was born, I pictured what it would be like to nurse her. Ever the optimist, I imagined her latching well and smiling up at me as we bonded over feedings. I had read about the benefits of breastfeeding — as well as the challenges. But c’mon, I thought, how difficult could it really be?
Fast forward to Feb. 6, when Madelyn entered this world. The first thing I noticed about my daughter was her tongue. She kept sticking it out and staring up at me, imitating the goofy faces that her father often makes when posing for photos.
“She’s hungry,” my obstetrician said. “You can start feeding her now.” ... [Read more]