Memorable Literary Characters plus a lot of stuff about Pushkin

I have a great love of research. I think I would have been perfectly happy in life if I could have done research my whole life. I don’t seem to be able to stop myself. For example, this morning the Google search page had a photograph of Zora Neale Hurston. When I saw her face, I was reminded of the work she did to write down and preserve the stories and the era before they were lost. She was a social scientist and an excellent fiction writer.  I especially remembered a character from her....   [Read More...]

Burma Memoir: Chapter 1

This is the first chapter of a memoir covering my mother’s death and two years I spent in Burma. The year is 1969.

Chapter 1, Coming Home

Bangkok. It is the smell of it that differentiates it from other Asian cities. No other city smells quite like this. The scent engulfs me as I walk down the steps from the plane and lays languid in the humidity of the damp silk air, diffused through droplets of water that never seem to dry in the sun, a moist welcoming perfume, an oriental goddess opening....   [Read More...]

Thoughts on Reading The Silence by T.C. Boyle

The Silence by T. C. Boyle can be read at

I loved this story. I liked the way he broke up the sections and named each part. I like the exuberance and fluidity of his prose, the quickness of it as if he were dancing a comic jig with language.  Adjectives others have used to describe him include exuberant, like I said, and, in addition, lyrical, manic, and bawdy. He is likened to John Barth, one of my favorites although I....   [Read More...]

Comments on Nebraska

Alexander Payne’s new film, Nebraska, is on the short list for an academy award and has received six Independent Spirit Award nominations, including best feature and best director. The star of Nebraska, Bruce Dern, won the best actor award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Dern, age 77, played Woody, the father, and Will Forte, age 44, played his son, David. Dern, as an actor, is the consummate psychopath and Forte the adorable comedian. The contrast between them is the....   [Read More...]

Last Tango In Paris

Last night I watched Last Tango in Paris with Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider. Wow, is she beautiful. Women in the movies were bimbo’s back then, the year was 1973, and Marlon’s character, Paul, is the character he has always played. He’s the consummate method actor. He’s come to define the term. He’s a tough guy, a guy who presumably “something” has happened to, a guy with so much anger and frustration in him it would boil over occasionally. In those....   [Read More...]

The Goddess: Scene One

Mattie arrives unannounced wearing dark glasses, her hair in a motley tangle. Shivering, her arms curled inward, she digs in her nails into her flesh leaving an angry hatch work of red on her skin.

“What?” asks Chloe, startled, but Mattie speechless, draws in her breath and makes a soft high-pitched bleat deep her throat. She sidles past Chloe into the house. “Come,” Chloe says and directs her to the garden where a table and chairs sit in a shady grove at the edge of the....   [Read More...]