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Don’t Hold Back

June 20, 2014 | by

Dan-Dailey-1987_Romance

Dan Dailey, Romance, 1987

Each member of my family has quirks and foibles. I stomp my foot like a cartoon furious person when I lose my temper, and I once humiliated myself the one time I attempted the road test by waiting ten minutes to turn at an intersection, panicking, and nearly hitting an oncoming car. My brother pulls a weird, unconscious face whenever he passes a mirror; he will never live down the years he spent, as late as the first grade, refusing to wear clothing. My dad is mocked regularly for getting ketchup all over his face and for insisting on down jackets in seventy-degree weather. And then there’s my mom’s thing. It’s probably very unwise of me to write what I am about to write while I am staying with my parents. But I am, like pope emeritus Benedict XVI, a Servant of the Truth.

Although she’s an excellent cook and great company, my mom is a nervous hostess. She finds the demands of guests and meal-planning onerous—terrifying, even. By the time dinner is served, she has generally worked herself into an anxious frenzy. I’m sure most people at the table can’t tell; to her family, the signs are unmistakable.

At some point in the meal, a wild look will come into her eyes. Her hands will clench. It is as though she is possessed. A conversation may be in progress; someone may be mid-anecdote. It matters not. As though powerless to prevent the words, she will suddenly declaim:

“DON’T HOLD BACK. THERE’S MORE OF EVERYTHING!” Read More »

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Beckett on the Block, and Other News

July 12, 2013 | by

Smuel Beckett Murphy manuscript for sale

  • Reading University is now the proud owner of “almost certainly the most important English language manuscript still in private hands,” a six-notebook draft of Samuel Beckett’s Murphy. (The damage? A cool [almost] one million pounds.)
  • When writers eat.
  • When writers drink.
  • And speaking of comestibles: the typography picnic is a thing.
  • Whether or not you’ve heard of them (we all know what happens when you assume), these six lesser-known women writers deserve your attention.
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