What I have been reading:


Actually, I finished this book about a month ago.  It is excellent.  Dan Max is a wonderful writer.  Reading him, I felt like I was looking through very clear glass at Wallace’s harrowing life and work.

Originally written as a short story, “Anaconda” became a chapter in Bright Angel Time, my first novel.  I wrote it a long time ago and hadn’t looked back until I had the lovely chance to hear “Anaconda” read by Lindsay Crouse.  She read it to an audience at The Getty Center in Los Angeles and then a few Sundays ago it was aired on Selected Shorts.  I am over the moon.  Thank you Selected Shorts and Sarah Montague and Katherine Minton and Symphony Space!  Listen here, if you like



Scan 13

This was a happy day.  Four little girls running around with hundreds and hundreds of sheep, across the Scottish moors on the island of Colonsay.  We were living there.  I was three years old.  All my father wanted was to catch and hold one of those little lambs.  He succeed, clearly.  My mother caught it with her camera, forty-five years ago.

I’ve been given many reasons to ponder the nature of friendship these past months — a most cherished value, to be a good friend.  I certainly haven’t come up with anything new or profound, but this song, Sonya Alone, heard at Dave Malloy’s exhilarating electropop opera, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, says everything I feel about what a great friendship should be, especially a friendship between girls.  It makes me ache each time I hear Brittain Ashford sing Sonya’s heartbreaking aria for Natasha.  Listen.


Read The New York Times review

Scan 11

My son says to me: “You are so lucky.  You have the best mother in the world.  I wish Nonni was my mother.”

He’s right.  And this is “Nonni” just about the time she started having children, age 22.

Cover of "What My Mother Gave Me"

Elizabeth Benedict has edited this wonderful collection.  Here is a list of some lovely news concerning it:

1.  Amazon has made the book one of its TOP 10 Book Gifts for Mother’s Day, along with Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, Lean In, and The Interestings.

2.  SLATE RADIO has just posted the audiotape of the debut event with Susan Stamberg and Eleanor Clift at Politics & Prose in Wash.
3.  Good Housekeeping picked up Mary Morris‘s essay (MAY 2013), and did a great spread with many photos.
4.  The Raleigh News & Observer will run Judith Hillman Paterson’s piece on Mother’s Day
5.  American Scholar has Martha McPhee’s piece in its Spring issue
6.  Liz Benedict will be doing events with authors in the coming weeks.
Here are some of the events:
* Wed. May 1st, 7pm, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA. Join Mameve Medwed, Charlotte Silver and Liz Benedict.
* Tues. May 7th 6.30, New York Society Library, 53 E. 79th St., NY NY, RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Join Margo Jefferson, Martha McPhee, Roxana Robinson, and Liz Benedict.
* Thurs. May 9, 7:30pm, Greenlight Books, Fulton St. Brooklyn, Join Mary Morris, Maud Newton, Elissa Schappell, Emma Straub, and Liz Benedict.


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