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
Did Mark Twain say, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”? The quotation was included one morning in a post to a list for writers that I belong to. A man I’ll call Pangloss, after the
Stephen Colbert looks at a black man and declares, “I don’t see race.” Don Quixote catches sight of windmills and sees giants, along with the opportunity for a glorious knight’s errand. The idealism in both instances is both laughable and laudable.
Most history books focus on the ideas of great thinkers, the bravery of warriors, the charity of saints and the creativity of artists. They have much to tell about the weaving and unravelling of social structures, about the rise and fall of empires,
In 1974, I took a bus to Montreal from a distant part of New England. At the time, I was a British citizen with alien status in the United States. In this excerpt from my unpublished memoir, Spiral to Edinburgh, I describe my encounter with Quebecois
Just as we choose our friends but not our family members, as children we don’t choose where we live. Only as adults can we make that decision, even if our options are limited. And just as we might love family members we don’t much like, along with