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rants

Forbidden Fictions

June 24, 2014

First published one year ago in The Public Humanist… My husband is teaching a class called “Forbidden Fictions” this summer, to a self-selected group of high school almost-seniors. One of his first thoughts: “This might be the only opportunity I ever get to teach Lolita to high school students.” He reread the book with far more discomfort […]

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Sorting the Books, part 1

May 29, 2014

First published a year ago in The Public Humanist. Wonder where we are today? It’s that time again. If you read, if you have a weakness for shiny stacks of paperbacks in airports, or the carousel of sale books at the library—they’re only a dollar!—then you know what happens. You stack a few sideways in […]

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May all your fictions be forbidden…

June 25, 2013

Well, perhaps not. This week in The Public Humanist I discuss sisters, sin and sibilance, or maybe it’s husbands and Humberts, or 50 Shades and forbidden fictions, or just Lo-lee-ta…

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Wise words from a friend I haven’t met yet

June 5, 2013

After writing Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, charming and funny introvert Susan Cain had to go out in the world talking about it! It’s confirming for me to encounter this inspiring and so right-on TED Talk during a week in which I am staying by myself in a […]

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Drowning (Swimming?) in Books

May 30, 2013

Latest essay for The Public Humanist, in which I discuss our little “book problem.” Part one of many, I should imagine.

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Alienated in America…

November 13, 2011

I’ve said before what eternally satisfying reading can be found in the several compilations of Paris Review interviews. Bathroom books that never grow dull. Philip Roth was interviewed in 1984—the interview appears in The Paris Review Interviews, IV—but something in his words resonates today. Whether you agree with him or not, this is one beautifully-written, […]

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