Article Club
Article Club
It’s May! Let’s read and discuss Barrett Swanson’s “Lost in Summerland”

It’s May! Let’s read and discuss Barrett Swanson’s “Lost in Summerland”


Welcome to May! I’m excited to announce that this month’s article is “Lost in Summerland,” by Barrett Swanson. You’re going to love it.

Appearing first in The Atavist Magazine, the article was featured in Issue #225 of The Highlighter. Here’s my blurb:

After recovering from a traumatic brain injury when he was 22, Andy Swanson started hearing things at home: creaky footsteps in the hallway, stray voices in the closet. When his dad showed up, concerned, Andy’s first words were, “There’s someone in the room with us.” The chandelier in the room flickered on its own.

This article, told from the point of view of his little brother, Barrett, explores Andy’s developing identity as a psychic and a medium. Most of all, though, this is a story of two brothers, their relationship, and their trip one summer to Lily Dale, New York, where every year, 20,000 Spiritualists gather to perform readings, conduct seances, and build community.

At the retreat, Barrett notices his brother’s calm and rising confidence. But he’s also aware of his own uneasiness, acknowledges his history of depression, and recounts an incident from his past, when his big brother’s powers may have saved his life. 

Are you IN? If so, here’s what to do:

  1. Read and annotate the article.

  2. Sign up for a discussion on Sunday, May 24 — 2-3 pm or 4-5 pm PT (with the author).

  3. Say hi, introduce yourself, and announce that you’re IN in the comments.

View comments

Coming up this month at Article Club
  • Sunday 5/10: We’ll listen to an Article Clubber’s first impressions.

  • Sunday 5/17: We’ll share topics we’d like to explore in the discussion.

  • Sunday 5/24: We’ll discuss the article with fellow Article Clubbers.

Questions? Share them in the comments or email me at

Art by Emmanuel Polanco

Article Club is a new experiment in community reading. We read and discuss one outstanding article or book chapter a month. We invite the author to join our conversation, too. If you’re interested, sign up and check us out! Article Club is part of The Highlighter, a weekly newsletter featuring the best articles on race, education, and culture.

Article Club
Article Club
Book clubs are stressful. Join Article Club, a community of kind readers. We discuss one great article every month on race, education, or culture.