Monthly Archives: March, 2013

Sunday Links, March 31, 2013

The finalists for the Hugo Award have been announced. I own all five of the nominated novels (no surprise there) and I’ve read three of them (that’s fairly surprising; I’m usually so far behind). I have to say that, while the three I’ve read were fine novels, only one of them strikes me as among […]

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Poetry Friday: “One Train May Hide Another” by Kenneth Koch

A dear friend’s perceptive kindness (“if you need some inspiration”) brought this poem to my virtual doorstep earlier in the week. Some days prior, a friend at work was eager to go for lunch to report his pride in a complicated project successfully completed. Some days after, a colleague asked for help in pulling together […]

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Sunday Links, March 24, 2013

I’ve never heard of the DABWAHA Prize before, but its finalists have been named. Lots of prizes — it seems like every writer gets one. Especially when you consider the consolation prizes. I get awarded the Unpublished Writer Pizza Party Prize nearly every Friday evening. It’s been a sad week for those of us who […]

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Pocket Review: All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen

All We Know: Three Lives Lisa Cohen Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012 As the title would indicate, All We Know: Three Lives is a triple biography—dense and cerebral, often reading like a lot of topics in search of a Master’s thesis—which turns out, in fact, to be a good quality. Lisa Cohen has a wide-ranging […]

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Poetry Friday: “Life Story” by Tennessee Williams

Yesterday the New York Times reminded us: The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week in a pair of cases challenging laws relating to same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, lawyers will argue a challenge to California’s gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, and the next day, the justices will hear a challenge to the federal law […]

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Ed Man Walking

Many of you are probably familiar with my complaint that Nothing Ever Happens In My Neighborhood. True, it’s one of the few remaining affordable places in New York where you’re only a few blocks from the subway; it’s safe, spacious, and relatively quiet; and you can get to most parts of Manhattan within an hour. […]

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Poetry Friday: “Rule Book” by Lauren Shapiro

One recent evening, late, I was quietly tired and on my way home from work. The subway car in which I was riding was about one-third full of equally quiet and tired passengers. We all, however, were unwillingly drawn into the cellphone call of an increasingly agitated woman in her late 20s. It was a […]

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A Satisfying Night for The Story Prize

Was it just me, or was this year’s Story Prize event an even better show than usual? Which is not to say that it ever isn’t good—Larry Dark and his finalists never fail to be interesting and lively. And, as I’m fond of pointing out, there are only three of them, which means even the […]

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Pocket Review: Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen

Atmospheric Disturbances Rivka Galchen Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008 This first novel starts out irresistibly: Last December a woman entered my apartment who looked exactly like my wife. This woman casually closed the door behind her. In an oversized pale blue purse—Rema’s purse—she was carrying a russet puppy. I did not know the puppy. And […]

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Looking It Up: Dictionary Data in a Digital Age

You never see a discussion of online dictionaries without someone invoking the magical powers of browsing. It’s true, of course—who hasn’t discovered a really good word while looking for something else? You can’t argue with the expediency of the electronic search, but it does seem a shame to sacrifice that potential in the process. According […]

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