Pedigree, by Patrick Modiano If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve read my take on memoirs written by various celebrities or their ghostwriters. Memoirs by literary personalities are of another ilk. These tend to be, as you might suspect, literary works themselves. Such a one is Patrick Modiano’s brief work, Pedigree. Modiano is […]

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Standing Up To Power and Violence

Salman Rushdie spoke in my small town last week. So many people expressed interest in hearing  him speak that his talk was moved to a local basketball arena that holds some 3500 people. And from what I’ve heard (I was planning on going, too, but the crowd made it near-impossible), the place was packed. So […]

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The Rome You’ve Never Imagined

  The Mirror and the Mage, by D.W. Frauenfelder   One of the most popular genres on the book market these days is one of the magical reality sort. In high level literature, you see books and stories in this genre by the likes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez—fabulistic, charming pieces. In popular fiction you have […]

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Lies and Truth

There are all forms of honesty, and there are all forms of lies. It’s a discriminating person indeed that can steer a wise course among them all. We live in a time in which “spin” is a form of lie, but it’s also a form of truth. Beware the person who can sprinkle a lie with just […]

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The Open Door, Grammatically

I’ve been reading a new novel written by a colleague, and it’s a fine piece of writing. He knows his way around the techniques of writing but, as happens once in a while for me, the reading taught me a lesson. You see, being a writer is as much a curse as it is a blessing; […]

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I can only urge you to believe the quote below about yourself. We’ve only begun to understand our world and ourselves as human beings. The first great bursts of understanding will always come through individual creativity. This is the way we identify new horizons as they open to humanity, and it’s the way we communicate […]

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Here Today, Years Gone Tomorrow

  M Train, by Patti Smith Ms. Smith is something of a Renaissance woman. Musician, writer, photographer, performer, she has the restless mind that makes all these talents work for her. A previous book, Just Kids, won the National Book Award, and this book follows suit in its clarity of subject and writing style. M […]

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