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read around the world

Falling into poetry from fiction, one year on…

April 24, 2014

This piece was published one year ago in The Public Humanist: It’s National Poetry Month, and while we could drink our way through an entire month of pure poetic delight without the well ever running dry, we (whisper) might not want to stop reading stories. Or, we might feel more at ease reading stories. Poems […]

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don’t hurry

October 24, 2013

You come to reading books late in life. Don’t worry if you see the young ones ahead of you. Don’t hurry. You’re tired and ready to quit? Let your hands play music.    —Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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“Therein…lies the richness of reading”

October 3, 2013

In his brief, memorable novel How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Mohsin Hamid reminds us of the true relationship between readers and writers. Like all books, this…book is a co-creative project. When you watch a TV show or movie, what you see looks like what it physically represents. A man looks like a […]

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Fall into poems from fiction

April 29, 2013

Go on, take the pleasurable plunge. I elaborate here, in The Public Humanist, pushing the love drugs (the drugs I love) Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch, Habibi, The Golden Gate, and Little, Big. More on Pish, Posh here.

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Does our language shape our thought?

April 9, 2013

Toward the end of the first chapter of Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul: Memories and the City, Pamuk breaks away from a description of events surrounding his birth and says this: I feel compelled to add or so I’ve been told. In Turkish we have a special tense that allows us to distinguish hearsay from what we’ve […]

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lovely bookstore, lovely story

January 20, 2012

Geez, I was getting weepy over this. Have you ever seen such a beautiful location for a bookstore?

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happy holidays

December 31, 2011

are spent like this:

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Algeria: Of Dreams and Assassins; Malika Mokeddem, 1995

August 20, 2011

My childhood and adolescence would have been a hellish and unending imprisonment without the marvelous complicity of this language that I read in [i.e., French]…. For me, the desire to write is very old; it dates from adolescence…. For me, writing is an existential need. For a woman it is the best means of affirming […]

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Albania: The Accident; Ismail Kadare, 2008

August 19, 2011

Oh summer. Reading goes on, late at night, tucked into a day away, early in the morning, but between comings and goings, writing grants and writing lists, baking birthday cakes, organizing kids’ complex summer schedules, and all the rest that pours abundantly down upon us in the mad, brief abundant season of New England summer, […]

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Peru: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter; Mario Vargas Llosa, 1977

June 4, 2011

Once again, of late, the quantity of books on the property has far exceeded the available shelf space, a dreadful and recurring problem. The books with no home make their way to the floor of my studio, spilling out in an ever-rising sea of books. Probably best to avoid flood metaphors in difficult times such […]

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