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The Unraveling of Mr. White

When eighth grade came around, we were relieved at first to find that our new English teacher was more interested in grammar drills than in having us read or write masterpieces. He followed the textbook methodically: no odd seating arrangements, no sarcastic comments on papers, no confusing assignments. We learned on the very first day … Continue reading The Unraveling of Mr. White

Excerpt from “The Lowell that Came Later” from She Lived, and the Other Girls Died

West Elementary School was my fourth school in five years. Andover, with its brick-fronted shops and colonial homes, perched on a pedestal between Lawrence and Lowell, two cities lined with boarded-up textile mills on the Merrimack. My best friends in Andover had vacation homes on islands on lakes in Maine and New Hampshire; they lived … Continue reading Excerpt from “The Lowell that Came Later” from She Lived, and the Other Girls Died

She Lived, and the Other Girls Died

I have been asked what this book is about, and I seem to have a different "elevator pitch" each time. It's about the 1980s, or how the 1970s became the 1980s became the 1990s. It's about politics and feminism--there are shades of "me too" and economic inequality and how the obsession with wealth in the 1980s (because this … Continue reading She Lived, and the Other Girls Died

Thoughts Upon Watching that new X Files Episode by the Guy who Wrote all the Good Ones

I couldn’t sleep the other night because I took 40 mg. of prednisone for strep throat at 7 PM, so please learn from my mistake. In my wakefulness, I decided to go downstairs to see what my husband was up to, and he suggested watching a recent new X Files episode. It ended up being … Continue reading Thoughts Upon Watching that new X Files Episode by the Guy who Wrote all the Good Ones

Nancy Drew, 2017, and Skipping the Racist Parts

One of my most prized possessions is my collection of Nancy Drew books and games. My most valuable book is a first-edition Hidden Staircase from the 1920s (no book jacket, sad to say) and I have both versions of the board game, the Nancy Drew Cookbook (mmmm… “Mystery Corn Pudding”), the Mad Libs, the graphic … Continue reading Nancy Drew, 2017, and Skipping the Racist Parts

Summer, Stories, and Schadenfraude

  “I’m always going to call this summer the Thimble Summer." Elizabeth Enright, Thimble Summer When I was my daughter’s age, summers were spent sitting outside in a tire swing on our small patch of green on a city street, under a weeping willow, while my mother retold her own adapted versions of Tennessee Williams … Continue reading Summer, Stories, and Schadenfraude

Splendor

My friend Elizabeth worked for several years at a video store called the Movie Fan. My BloNo friends know this place, and remember it fondly, from its dragon-with-a-megaphone logo (“Seymour Movies!”) to the entertaining staff picks (Das Boot—the 10-hour directors cut!!) to Dave, the bespectacled, movie-loving, all-around dear individual who made the trip inside worth … Continue reading Splendor