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

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

I Have Come for what Belongs to me

  for Elizabeth   I was driving, though Beth could still drive at that point, and although we didn’t say it, we wondered if it might be our last road trip. Up Route 5 from Brattleboro to Bellows Falls, through Putney, Vermont, everything around us was buzzing and green, as it is in Vermont in … Continue reading I Have Come for what Belongs to me

Remarks on the Untimely Death of my Best Friend, on a Snowy March Day, in a Doomed World

This is, title notwithstanding, about fun and laughter. We had so much fun. Elizabeth would sometimes say “I’ll pray for your soul, Mister” instead of goodbye, in the tone of a Puritan preacher. One of her favorite Homer Simpson lines was “Why can’t I watch ‘Honk if you’re horny in quiet dignity?” She enjoyed pictures or … Continue reading Remarks on the Untimely Death of my Best Friend, on a Snowy March Day, in a Doomed World