THE RIVER OF MEMORY

This is an article I wrote for Life magazine in 2006 when it was a weekend supplement in many newspapers. I wrote it on the second anniversary of my father’s death. Someone on Twitter just asked me about it, and

DEAR SASHA AND MALIA

Dear Sasha and Malia, Here is a story you might find interesting given the latest unprovoked (and undeserved) attack on you by Elizabeth Lauten, who I, by the way, had never heard of before. When my father was president there

FERGUSON

When the L.A. riots happened after the Rodney King verdict, I was in New York on a book tour. The woman who was house-sitting for me told me how scared she was, even though my house was many miles from

BILL COSBY

When my father was in the last stages of Alzheimer’s, Bill Cosby came to visit my mother (and me, as it turned out — I was there that day.) It must have been around 2002 because my father was already

THE WIT AND WISDOM OF GRACIE (excerpt)

Imagine what the world would be like if everyone thought like me. If humans believed in submission as an appropriate gesture when first meeting a stranger and practiced it as the art form it is. The planet would be a

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

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