Quarantined in the Time of Fear

In Albert Camus’ novel The Plague, the French town of Oran is quarantined   when people start dying from bubonic plague. No one can leave the town; no one from outside can get in. Families are torn apart, lovers are separated.

BIRTHDAY REFLECTIONS

Yesterday was my birthday. I have always, since childhood, had a complicated relationship with birthdays. Growing up in the shadow of a famous father (even before politics) I brooded about my place on this earth and whether or not I

TIGER, TIGER

When hard winter rains came, the town of Havenwood didn’t worry too much. There are no dams nearby to flood or mountains to crumble. Havenwood sits in the middle of wide flat miles near a freeway that people take to

SECRET LIVES

The same day the news broke about Stephen Collins and the tape his ex-wife secretly made, I ducked out to a midday screening of Gone Girl, which should leave anyone and everyone questioning how well we can really know another

A MAN’S FISTS

The first time I felt scared of what his hands could do to me was when he snatched flowers out of a vase I’d just put them in and re-arranged them himself. We’d only just started seeing each other, he’d

9/11

After nearly 4 years of living in Manhattan, I had moved back to Los Angeles a couple of years before September 11, 2001.  My father was deep into Alzheimer’s and I wanted to be near him. It was just past

A NOTE FROM GRACIE

The latest Amazon review for my book The Wit and Wisdom of Gracie included a minor complaint: the reader said she wished the book had been longer because she wanted to hear more of my opinions. So, I am borrowing

WHEN THE LAUGHTER DIES

Many years ago, I had a standing invitation on New Year’s Eve to go to the home of family friends for a small gathering. Jonathan Winters and his wife were usually there. I was enchanted by him, fascinated by him,

JAMES BRADY

On March 30, 1981, James Brady, press secretary to President Ronald Reagan, lay in a pool of blood, his brain swelling outside of his skull, precious life draining out of him. John Hinckley’s goal was to kill my father; he

THE FEMINISM DEBATE

I’m not sure why there is a debate about feminism right now, but it apparently began on Tumblr with a site called “Women Against Feminism.” Then David Futrelle added a feline perspective (arguably the most entertaining response) called “Confused Cats

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