I’m taking a mini-course on the Harlem Renaissance at the College of St. Rose. Taught by the brilliant Mark Ledbetter, it seems that our conversation often drifts away from the subject but inevitably flows back to where we began in perfect asymmetry. His particular form of magic. The search for identity kept creeping back into … Continue reading An American Story
I just finished reading Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids. It is the story of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe in the time of a burgeoning New York City art scene of the 1960s and 70s. They WERE kids who arrived in New York with nothing but their determination to be artists. They wandered into one … Continue reading Genius Clusters?
Are you one of those people who watch violent movies with a hand spread across your face, fingers splayed for a quick check to see if the pummeling is over? Does every volatile action make you feel sick? Are you like me when reading? Laugh out loud or sob as a story unfolds. As tears … Continue reading Reading Revs Up the Brain
The research for the book I’m working on has gotten me thinking about the lies we tell. From our early childhood, we are counseled to always tell the truth. George Washington is our model for that until we’re much older and find out there were probably no cherry trees in his life. As children, we … Continue reading A Brief History of Lying
You’re probably thinking, here she goes again, complaining about our lack of civility. It really bothers me and we’ve got to cut it out before we truly become a society of beasts. This is what ticked me off this time. I am a faithful reader of the Sunday New York Times Book Review. I know … Continue reading BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
Every family has its characters, its heroes who strike a chord we can connect to, laugh about, wonder how they ever had chutzpah to do this or that. Aunt Lucy, who was institutionalized for eccentric behavior like dancing in the street; Uncle George who vanished under questionable circumstances; the family pariah, Richard, who needed to … Continue reading PATERNAL NOCTURNE, A LOOK BACK TO GO FORWARD
This is the time of year for lists and best ofs, so I thought I'd weigh in with my absolute favorite books of the past year. My top five for 2011 have not necessarily been published in 2011 but I've read them during the past year. I always wonder how these compendiums are put … Continue reading A FEW OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS
I know it’s a bit early to be talking about resolutions. We haven’t even gotten through the season to be jolly; the much anticipated making ourselves crazy season when we over shop, over do, and over eat while trying to replicate a Norman Rockwell illustration. It never seems to be the happy time we want … Continue reading CAN WE RESOLVE TO BE HAPPY?