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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Another Loss

One more book to read and reread — A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, who died last week. Watch this inspiring interview on Bill Moyers. Zinn is an inspiration himself, of course, but he often celebrates ordinary people, in this case, a woman named Genora Dollinger, who helped organize workers in the 1930s. How touching it is […]

Rereading + J.D.

“…those four extraordinary books that bear rereading again and again and again.” — Robert Thompson, Syracuse University, tonight on The Newshour When I heard about the death of J.D. Salinger today on the radio, I wondered if I had anything interesting to say about him. I love The Catcher in the Rye. In that, I […]

Having a Moment

The other afternoon I had a moment — the good kind. I was chopping vegetables in the kitchen when a wave of contentment washed over me. I had an awareness that I have pretty much everything I need: the vegetables before me, the sharp knife, all the accoutrements of my American kitchen. Only a few steps […]

The Things

I’ve never written about art and don’t know how to, but when a piece of art stops you up short and sends your mind off somewhere away from the gallery, it’s worth noting. That happened to me the other night at the opening of Terry Durst’s “The Carter Excavations” at Arts Collinwood Gallery. Amy Sparks […]

Stigmas, Statistics, and Borderline

“This is where the misconceptions stop. This is where bias comes to an end. This is where we change lives.” These lines express the mission of BringChange2Mind, founded by Fountain House, a program in New York City that assists people who have mental illness, and the actress Glenn Close, whose sister Jessie suffers from bipolar disorder. The […]

More on Movies

I’ve often complained to John (who else?) about movies that give short shrift to women characters: buddy movies or comedies or action films where the women are merely decorative, warmly supportive of their men, and/or sexually available at convenient times. They get no funny lines and have no particular personalities. Talented actresses are always complaining about […]

Ten “Bests”

The writer Kris Ohlson has been passing around this essay from The Washington Post, via email and her Facebook page, by Julianna Baggott, called “The Key to Literary Success? Be a Man — or Write Like One.”    Baggott points out that Publishers Weekly‘s list of the ten best books of 2009 contained no women writers. On the entire list of […]