When someone offers to say a prayer for us, can it be offensive? My religion-skeptic father is seriously ill. One of his friends prayed for him right there in the hospital room, while another said she would do so on her own. Ever unwilling to rock
When does morality make a difference? This question came to mind as I listened to a Freakonomics podcast on possibly viable meat alternatives and the environmental damage done by meat production. One of the podcast’s interviewees, Mike Selden,
From time to time, we take stock of our parents. It must be because I’m going through such a phase that the chapter below, which I wrote long ago, has been on my mind. It appears halfway through my unpublished second novel, Hunger to Be
Up there, in the mist and passing clouds, is a yellow crane: not the bird, but the manmade mechanism whose arm rises as it lifts heavy objects, moves sideways somewhere, then lowers as it deposits them. How can a heavy machine like a crane stay so
A beloved uncle and aunt, husband-and-wife farmers, named their first cow Rebecca, a lovely, sweet-tempered red and white Ayrshire, and we all fell for her. My uncle and aunt couldn’t bring themselves to have her killed, and so she died of old age.
I’ve just finished reading the 2018 edition of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s venerable Best American Short Stories (BASS), and I feel I’ve been brought up to date with my politics, above all, the political grievances I ought to feel. But should