Archive for December, 2009


At a very young age, along with my older sisters and cousins, I made Christmas cookies with our grandmother.  She had a special recipe that my entire, extended, enormous family still uses though she died many years ago (1997) at the bright age of 100.   I still see her hands rolling the dough, patiently […]


“Conrad wrote that, ‘a work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line.’  This is the heart of the matter.  No great work is remembered for its plot, that clumsy replication of ‘real life.’  Fiction, like poetry and music, lives in each moment of its being.  It […]


Livia and Una, 2004.  Taken by my mother Pryde Brown Jasper ran through the apartment in his Clone Trooper costume and caused the picture to fall off the wall.  The glass shattered, shards everywhere.  I was annoyed, of course.  It was  9PM.  He and Livia should have been asleep, but I’d gotten home late, was exhausted, had […]


Irrigation Ditch by Laura McPhee from River of No Return I have many stunning students, but every once in a while I read something so terrific it makes me shiver.  Adam Bedell’s writing glitters with passion.  I love my job at Hofstra University.  I adore my students.  Working with this quality of prose, I believe there […]