MEMORIAL DAY

When I was in high school, a boy a year ahead of me lied about his age and joined the Marines. It was the height of the Vietnam War, and that’s where he was headed. I didn’t know him that

LORD OF THE FLIES, 2016

I first read Lord of the Flies by William Golding in high school. I still have the worn paperback; its pages are so discolored with age they’re almost sepia-toned, but my notes, written in my looped ninth-grade penmanship, are readable.

WHAT IS HOME?

We’ve been packing up my mother’s house. The walls are bare now, the shelves empty. That house was never my home — my parents bought it after my father’s two terms as president were over — but it was their

excerpt from THE EARTH BREAKS IN COLORS

The call of an owl woke her. A call that always sounded like loneliness — wide and hollow, carried on dark winds. She pulled back the white eyelet curtains, tried to get a glimpse of the owl in the towering

IN DEFENSE OF MALIA

When it was recently announced that Malia Obama got into Harvard (no small feat) and would be taking a “gap year” first before going to college, most news outlets were respectful, reporting the happy news and commenting on the proud

AN OPEN THANK YOU NOTE TO WILL FERRELL

Dear Mr. Ferrell, I would like to thank you for severing ties to a film that uses Alzheimer’s as comedic material. I’m sure yesterday was not a great day for you, given the public backlash against this project. It wasn’t

AN OPEN LETTER TO WILL FERRELL

Dear Mr. Ferrell, I saw the news bulletin — as did everyone — that you intend to portray my father in the throes of Alzheimer’s for a comedy that you are also producing. Perhaps you have managed to retain some

PURPLE RAIN

In 1984, I sat in a dark theater watching Purple Rain. I’d gone to the movie by myself. Except I was never really “by myself.” In the row behind me were two Secret Service agents. I was going to be

BYSTANDERS TO HATE

Einstein said,”The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” I’ve watched a few clips of what goes on frequently at Trump rallies.  In Janesville, Wisconsin a teenager was

ONCE UPON A TIME

Once upon a time I walked up the driveway in this photograph to a house that could barely be seen from the road. Depending on how tall the shrubs were, you might be able to glimpse the deck. The roofline

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