From Virginity to the KKK: True Stories


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Why you should care

Because everyone has a story.

At OZY, we love sharing people’s True Stories. Good ones, from around the globe, that reveal human existence in all its wild, wonderful, maddening, messy, hilarious form.

Today, we encore some of our favorite first-person pieces we’ve published. Kick back with your eggnog and enjoy this roundup of OZY essays from writers who spill blood, history and a whole lot of funny on the page.

Like barber Anthony Hamilton, who traversed the road from homelessness to happiness and started his own business — but learned the hard way that not everyone supports your success. Novelist Diksha Basu recounts her fleeting attempt at Bollywood fame. Then there’s 81-year-old Jane Juska, who figures, screw the whole vagina restoration thing. (Yeah. That exists.)

Or, for a dose of testosterone and gonzo, dig into OZY Deputy Editor Eugene S. Robinson’s ongoing memoir series — titled, aptly, Eugene Has Lived (at least more than YOU!). There’s his relationship with sons of the Ku Klux Klan. Or there’s the first time they tried to kill him. (More on that in the new year.)

Prison advocate Deborah Jiang-Stein shares a gripping tale about her birth behind bars; New York Times-bestselling author Katie Crouch reminds us that we are all unique individuals — doppelgängers be damned. And a 9/11 widow reflects on love and loss, and how a son can help a father to live on.

Have a True Story of your own? Please pitch us at

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OZYTrue Story

Good stories from around the globe. Essays and immersion, into the harrowing, the sweet, the surprising — the human.