Essays

Manhattan Wedding: Thoughts of 9-11

Like many people, I wasn’t eager to get back on an airplane after 9-11. I knew I would fly eventually when I had more book research to pursue or when I grew tired of the long, two-day car rides from the Midwest to visit my East Coast children or when I’d stopped reliving the shock of the morning when my daughter called with the news of the planes hitting and I did not know for hours where my son was. But I hadn’t yet crossed that line. Read more…

The Sound of One Hand:Paul Wittgenstein at the Piano

As a child practicing the piano, I worried about the little finger of my right hand. It needed to be stronger, I thought, and I fretted aloud over it to my mother who was my teacher. She answered that the little finger is always weaker, the fourth finger too. She said that Robert Schumann, the famous composer, had tried to exercise these fingers of his right hand with a pulley device to make them stronger, but had lost the use of them altogether–that that was why he became a composer instead of a pianist.

This story horrified me. Read more…

Minimata: Pollution, Disease, and the Camera’s Transfixing Eye

In the summer of 1978, I was traveling in Europe and the British Isles with my husband, who is a photographer, and with our young children. It was a long anticipated journey and we were overwhelmed by what we found–the architectural magnificence, the bewildering richness and variety of medieval artwork, the foreignness of foreign languages, the happy pleasures of food and wine. Read more…

Portrait of the Poet as a Young Man
                         …………..
       Under the Eye of the Clock
            by Christopher Nolan

Under the Eye of the Clock is the autobiography of the young Irish writer, Christopher Nolan. Telling his story as a person he calls Joseph Meehan, Nolan shows the growth of a boy severely disabled by cerebral palsy, and explores his intense struggle to create his own voice both as a person and writer. Read more…

Of Friends We Don’t Know

I live in the same neighborhood as Jim Moore, who’s a well-regarded and engaging Minnesota poet. Jim and I probably fall into the category of good acquaintances. I’ve seen him or his wife at the pool or gym or at the coffee shop or out walking their dog. Read more…

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