In Favor of Fantasy

Fantasy has it rough. It bears a reputation of being trivial, flashy, adolescent and entertainment-driven. Indeed, some fantasy is. But, such judgement is unfair to good fantasy, which is none of the above. Because fantasy is so blatantly allegorical, when it is good, it reveals a forthright understanding of how reality functions. And, when it is great, it resembles myth, with its […]

Crazy Wallpaper

   I’d never heard of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (b. 1892) until I read her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Now I want to read everything about her, which I hope to share right here. But, for starters, above is an excerpt from her story, which is her most famous work.  It’s about an intelligent woman’s […]

Oh Yes, He Did

   I confess I am one of those people who never took Truman Capote seriously. Or, maybe, I am just the only person who failed to do so.  Either way, those days are now over.  “A Diamond Guitar” might be my favorite short story ever. As simple, but perhaps sweeter, than anything Hemingway ever wrote.  […]

A Young Adult Novel Written Entirely in Verse

I recently visited the main branch of the Miami Public Library System and was strongly impressed by what I found. Although the entire library was elegant, spacious, well-stocked and easy to decipher, the teen’s section was truly remarkable. There were large signs indicating that only 12-19 year-olds were allowed to use the area, which was equipped with […]

And Jesus Wept

“Jesus wept” is famous as the shortest verse in the entire Bible. It is also notorious as a sarcastic expletive, or so I learned today. I found the phrase in Alice Munro’s short story ” Passion” and immediately marked it, knowing it would prove useful. It certainly is useful in Munro’s story, where it punctuates […]

Like a white eel

I read my first Alice Munro story over the weekend. It was about time I went and saw what all the Nobel fuss was about. There will be more on her work later, but, for now, I had to share a phrase that I hope will come back to me at the right time and […]

The guilty pleasures of domesticity

  Since I have a nine-month-old baby, and since my husband has nine aunts and two uncles, people are still coming over to “meet the baby.”  Every time people come over, I can’t help but feel like a younger Mrs. Dalloway, from Virginia Woolf’s novel by the same name. There are indeed things that just require […]

Get a Life: Step 2 – In Laws

 A one-on-one daughter-in-law / father-in-law dinner can mean a lot of things. Get a Life. Nadine Gordimer Read Miami 2013

Courage with language

In honor of Salman Rushdie’s birthday, I am posting two excerpts from his novel The Satanic Verses. These quotes hope to suggest how deeply Rushdie delves into  questions of identity and language in his novel. They also hope to encourage those who haven’t read his book, to include it in their reading lists. It is […]