Life as a Character

I thoroughly enjoyed Ann Patchett’s new novel, Commonwealth. In it, she tells the story of an extramarital affair and the blended family of six children that results. The stepsiblings mostly live on opposite coasts except for summer vacations when they become a tribe, wandering around the Virginia countryside. Patchett’s books tend to be about groups…

Pee in the Sahara

Turns out, if you Google “Pee in the Sahara” you may find the story of Mauro Prosperi, an ultramarathoner who went off course in Morocco and ended up in Algiera (183 miles off course). Or, you could find my short article on a bus stop in Sudan and the “facilities” provided there. You can read…

Review: Ripcord

I believe Anton Chekhov wrote that if you introduce the idea of a sky diving company in the first Act, someone better be jumping out of a plane before the end of the play. With a title like Ripcord, I don’t think I’m spoiling anything about David Lindsay-Abaire’s latest play, a 90 minute comedy (plus…

Protesting Lessons

February 3, 2017, Cognoscenti published: History Repeating: Lessons From The Civil Rights Era For Maximizing The Power Of Protests At least one elected official and his advisors seem eager to confirm the adage that “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” As Americans gird themselves against societal upheaval and figure out how…

Writing in the new era

Things change. Yep. The changes are not often what we’re seeking but we need to adapt. Since the US election in November 2016, I’ve published two essays in WBUR’s Cognoscenti that reflect my optimistic disappointment. Surely, there’s a way out of this? The first was published on November 14, 2016: A New ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Host,…