It pleases me so much when I learn that people are still discovering/reading Quiet Americans. And it thrills me when I find out that the book is actually being taught (especially when it is being taught alongside other authors’ work that I’ve read and admired myself). So you can imagine how absolutely delighted I was when, during last week’s vacation, I received a tip from a cousin about this course description, taken from his synagogue’s latest adult-education catalog.
Pretty nifty, isn’t it? Continue reading ›
My Nephew Inspires New Thoughts About My Own Youthful Reading
Earlier this summer, my young nephew told me he had a movie (on his iPad) that he wanted me to see.
“You’ll like it,” he said. “It has aunts.” (It took me a moment to understand that he was not touting the presence of “ants.”)
As I settled next to him on the sofa, I discovered that the movie in question was “James and the Giant Peach.” I had never seen the movie, nor had I read the original book, by Roald Dahl, on which the film is based. (Just a few minutes into our viewing, I was compelled to check with my nephew: “You’re not suggesting that I’m like THOSE aunts, are you?” ;-))
So when this precious child celebrated his birthday last week, I presented him with not just the video game he requested, but also a copy of Dahl’s book. (I refrained from sharing, just yet, my discomfort with Dahl’s anti-Semitism.) And as I thought about the books that my nephew most enjoys reading (or having me read to him), I had an epiphany of sorts: Continue reading ›
(Still experimenting with a new title/format for these midweek posts. Thanks for bearing with me!)
‘TIS THE SEASON
Well, not exactly. But my extended family has found, these past several years, that it’s often easier for all of us to gather for a holiday on less-than-exact dates that are at least in the general vicinity of the holiday in question.
Thus, last weekend found us pre-celebrating Hanukkah. Below, one of the gifts Auntie Erika bestowed: B.J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures (the picture doesn’t capture the excitement/joy that the gift evoked as soon as it was unwrapped; this was one of my more inspired/successful choices!).
This week brought the conclusion of the terrific workshop I’ve been part of this fall. It also brought an effort–now stalled, I admit–to work on a new essay. And it brought a poetry acceptance (more about that soon, I trust!).
I knew the workshop was coming to an end. I suspected that the essay might not “work.” And I hoped the poem might find its home.
But I did not, in any way, anticipate this lovely note which arrived via email yesterday, about one of the short stories in Quiet Americans: Continue reading ›