Jar of Thanks

Yesterday, amid a steady stream of work including proofreading report cards, meeting with parents and teachers, and preparing for a small, family reunion this weekend, I was feeling pretty depleted. I looked at the clock and saw to my surprise that it was already 12:30, just a few minutes from the start of advisory lunch. […]

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The Sea, The Sea

I just finished Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach. It’s a book I’ve been waiting a long time to read. She started it over 15 years ago, just after 9/11, but couldn’t finish it. In the interim, she wrote some other amazing books — The Keep and A Visit from the Good Squad. She wrote Black Box, a complete and unforgettable […]

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Hard Facts

This week, hard facts were everywhere. Look to the left, find sorrow in the aftermath of a mass shooting on Las Vegas. Look to the right, see fires moving through Northern California. Look a few weeks back, see hurricane waves and winds snuffing out lights and prospects in island and coastal communities. Look into a […]

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Essential Emily & Marilynne

“Writing should always be exploratory,” writes Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping, Gilead) in her NY Times essay, “Toward Essentials.” “There shouldn’t be the assumption that you know ahead of time what you want to express. When you enter into the dance with language, you’ll begin to find that there’s something before, or behind, or more absolute than […]

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Anything is Possible

Some characters get under your skin, if not into your heart. Elizabeth Strout’s formidable Olive Kitterege of Maine is one such character; Lucy Barton, of Amgash, Illinois, is another. Readers of Strout’s unforgettable fiction know Lucy from the tremendous My Name is Lucy Barton, published in 2016. In that slender book, Lucy tells a mostly […]

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