Argue with your mother, recite a poem, experience a moment of grace: Ruth Klueger at Auschwitz

  Dear friends of writing and reading – Today is Yom HaShoah, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the Holocaust. A long time ago, before I converted to Judaism I taught college courses on the literature of the Holocaust. It was during this time that I got to know a friend of a friend, the scholar … Continue reading Argue with your mother, recite a poem, experience a moment of grace: Ruth Klueger at Auschwitz

Does the ending have to work? Thinking about Joanne Harris’ Lollipop Shoes

Friends -- I'm trying to read more self-proclaimed magical realist novels this year, so that I can be a more educated writer AND reader. I'm also interested in the debates as to what is and what is not magical realism. As you know, I made it through 100 Years of Solitude, and just finished Joanne … Continue reading Does the ending have to work? Thinking about Joanne Harris’ Lollipop Shoes

Before I read Marquez– Kate Durbin, Anna Nicole Smith and the unreal heal

Dear friends -- I have not yet read 100 years of solitude. I know. It's a schande, as we say in Yiddish. How can a writer who works in MR, NOT have read this novel? I own it now, and I keep looking at it. I keep trying to start. But I can't start, because … Continue reading Before I read Marquez– Kate Durbin, Anna Nicole Smith and the unreal heal

the ones left behind: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Reyna Grande, 02/09/15 (coloring books project)

Friends -- I took a look at a memoir that Vickie Vertiz recommended to me. "It's about who gets left behind in that trip from Mexico to the US," I remember her saying. I always feel a bit anxious reading work about Mexico. I don't speak Spanish, and I am not originally from the West … Continue reading the ones left behind: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Reyna Grande, 02/09/15 (coloring books project)

Story Time Sunday special edition, 12/28/14 – my favorite feminist fictions of 2014

Friends – I just finished reading Dana Johnson’s novel Elsewhere, California. You have to read it. It’s generous, funny, sad, and heroic. If you are a writer who wants to write about race and class, you need to read this book. If you are a writer who wants to write about women artists, you need … Continue reading Story Time Sunday special edition, 12/28/14 – my favorite feminist fictions of 2014

Midweek mini-meditation: when the truth is stranger than fiction (and is also violent, dark, and is a videogame). March 5th 2014

Dear Friends of the Magical, the Surprising, the Weird and the Real: Over here at Magically Real HQ, we keep an eye out for the thing that sparks us -- the thing that makes us want to think, write, talk, and make work. Also teach. Also speak out when necessary. Also do laundry. We are … Continue reading Midweek mini-meditation: when the truth is stranger than fiction (and is also violent, dark, and is a videogame). March 5th 2014

the counter narrative proposed by Herculine Barbin

The mainstream narrative about girls in school tends to be pretty bleak. Interestingly, though, there's an important counter-narrative that Herculine Barbin participates in, and may even have played a role in starting. Take a look at the first half-hour of this famous feminist film, shot by a woman director in the early 1930's: Maedchen in … Continue reading the counter narrative proposed by Herculine Barbin

Storytime Sunday June 24, 2012 — dark and futurist (and slightly twisted)

Dear friends of the Unreal -- it's SO very sunny outside today where I live, and there's SO Much self-satisfied punditry circulating that I feel a little ornery.  Here's a link to my absolute favorite personal anti-hero, and a glimpse into her world. Vintage This piece appeared originally win NYCBigCityLit and I thank them so … Continue reading Storytime Sunday June 24, 2012 — dark and futurist (and slightly twisted)

Storytime Sunday @ Magically Real, 01/29/12

A slightly sexy story about the power of reading, that originally appeared in the wonderful NYCBigCityLit online journal.  Read on..... Cockeresque Never read Kafka when you are in love. There can be outcomes. I read In the Penal Colony with him, and The Metamorphosis with her. I shouldn't have shared the same author with the … Continue reading Storytime Sunday @ Magically Real, 01/29/12

Reading SEVEN GOTHIC TALES: Transformation, Transvestism, and “feminine” desire

Like many women writers of the 19th Century, 20tth Century author Karen Blixen decided to use a male pseudonym, when she decided to give up working her ex-husband's coffee plantation in Africa, and try being a writer instead.  Her pen name, Isaac, (Laughter) signals that she wants to laugh at the masquerade she has created … Continue reading Reading SEVEN GOTHIC TALES: Transformation, Transvestism, and “feminine” desire