One afternoon some years ago when I lived in the French Alps, I was driving home with my friend Joan, a Liverpudlian (or ‘Scouser’ as she proudly called herself) who lived in the hamlet below my house, which was farther up the mountain.  We had been for lunch in nearby Annecy, a medieval town of…

Read More

Unless there is a last minute reprieve, Troy Davis will be executed today in Georgia, for a crime he probably didn’t commit.  You can read about his case by clicking here. Although I generally fight to be optimistic about these things, I feel little optimism today, and although I have signed petitions and made phone…

Read More

Last night I watched a snippet of the Republican debate — that startling moment when moderator Wolf Blitzer asked candidate Ron Paul if he thought a hypothetical 30-year-old uninsured man who needed health care should be left to die, and several people in the audience called out, “Yeah!”  “Let him die!” Watch it by clicking…

Read More

The theme of my soon-to-be-released novel, OUR DAILY BREAD is that when we view someone as “The Other” the result is inevitably–to greater or lesser degree–negative.  I am certainly not the only person who believes this.  For example, my friend Chris Hedges, in his book, WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING, speaks most…

Read More

“JUSTICE has been done.” In this way, President Obama began his speech announcing the death of Osama bin Laden. Navy Seals led a raid on a compound in a small, affluent Pakistani town and killed the “mastermind” behind Al-Queda and the unspeakable events of 9/11. The world, or at least those who aren’t bin Laden…

Read More

Today in my state capital, which is a largely African-American city, neo-nazis are apparently holding a rally in front of the state house.  Reports say 100 such young men are scheduled to show up, wave banners and shout whatever they think is important. Another group of people, the New Black Panthers, are planning to counter-protest. …

Read More

I’m in the midst of editing my new novel, OUR DAILY BREAD, which will be released in the US in September.  It’s the story of what happens in a small town when, for generations, certain folks have been ostracized, pushed away and left to fend for themselves.  Considered Those People—beyond the pale, beyond redemption—they become…

Read More

I’m in the process of editing my manuscript, OUR DAILY BREAD, which will be published in the fall.  Now, I’ve read this manuscript probably thirty times.  My Best Beloved, who is also my first reader, has probably read it five times.  My agent has read it at least once.  My editor has read it a…

Read More

Anyone who has read this blog even occasionally knows my feelings on the psychological dangers inherent in chasing the publishing carrot and the sort of relentless self-promotion writers (and many other artists) are expected to engage in these days. Sure, we all want readers and publishing can be lovely, but I don’t believe the way…

Read More

As many of you know, both my brothers died by suicide, and so, whenever I turn on the news and hear a report of another life being lost to despair and hopelessness, the little shard of ice in my chest which never quite melts, twists a little. This week, Tyler Clementi, a student at Rutgers…

Read More