Archive for November, 2009

Thank you Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  I love holding the galley in my hand.  I love the shape, the size.  It’s a beautiful object, a prelude to the book. I first began thinking about this story on Easter in 2004.  I was at my mother’s farm and for various reasons a bond trader for a glittering […]


An Ode Once again I am reminded of, and thus devastated about, the loss of Gourmet.  We’re off to Providence for Thanksgiving.  Many McPhees collecting at my cousin’s house to cook an enormous feast.  (Twenty-six of us this year.)  We arrive each year armed with Gourmet and the intention to cook many of the recipes, replacing […]


By the artist Janie Geiser, given to Mark and me as a wedding present I have never been able to spell.  This is a humiliating fact for me.  I write fast and with a studied sloppiness so that the reader will think I have bad penmanship rather than bad spelling.  I can remember wincing many times, a […]


I adore elephants.  This one reminds me of the sort of trip I’d like to be on. “All I want from fiction is a trip. And if I don’t get that trip, I don’t care whether it’s [from] a man or a woman, I have no time for it. I don’t want to read a […]


Martha, Katherine, Vanessa Vanessa was 4, Katherine was 6 and I was 5 when our parents fell in love and we became sudden, surprise sisters.  It’s not that I needed any more sisters.  I had 3 older sisters and 2 other (also older) new sisters belonging to my stepfather.  But Katherine and Vanessa were different.  They were so close to […]


By the artist Jane Gennaro who has a show at Rogue Space until November 14 (drawn after our Paula Fox evening) I was invited to join a very serious book group. There is no chat (or not much) of husbands, children, school, plastic surgery. Just the books. Since joining last January we’ve read: 2666 by Roberto Bolano […]


The Finalists were: Phillip Meyer, American Rust Patrick Somerville, The Cradle Paul Harding, Tinkers Yiyun Li, The Vagrants John Pipkin, Woodsburner And the winner is: Last year’s winner, Hannah Tinti, was the chair of the committee of judges and gave a thoughtful speech about why each book was selected and how each deserved to win.  […]