Sex Ed: Anne Frank in Africa

Without telling us the punchlines, Dutch researchers announced this week the discovery of four dirty jokes papered over in Anne Frank’s diary. I taught the diary as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi two decades ago, curious from the start why it was on the curriculum. My students faced a lifetime of grinding poverty, endemic … Continue reading Sex Ed: Anne Frank in Africa

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Answer Coming Soon

When I feel ornery about the state of world affairs, I turn to Dan Whitman for a cure. Because he gifted me a large stack of his books, he doesn’t always know this. Whitman’s essays reflect on wide-ranging issues for the foreign affairs professional. They cut across decades (mostly post World War II) and continents … Continue reading Answer Coming Soon

When Writing Is Going Well…

To learn how today's funniest flash nonfiction writers answer a few simple questions, check the news feed over at Woodhall Press. Fiction or Nonfiction? Is it harder to write funny or sad? Long form or short form? Poetry or prose? Boxers or kickboxers? Piece that you read and said Wish I’d thought of that? Cloned … Continue reading When Writing Is Going Well…

Finite Jests

There’s nothing pithy in the title ‘Before We Break for Lunch, Let Me Repeat Everything Already Said at This Meeting At Least Twice.’ And that's exactly the point. By sticking its finger in the eye of brevity, this piece at the tail end of Flash Nonfiction Funny captures everything that’s beautiful and funny and sad … Continue reading Finite Jests

Titles for World Book Day

Re-posting these titles I wish I could find on Amazon, with a few more. Happy reading, writing, and whatever else it is you do with your books. The Novel Is Dead---A Murder Mystery   The Novel Is Dead. Long Live the Novel: An Arthurian Legend   The Attorney for the Attorney Representing the Client’s Attorney---A … Continue reading Titles for World Book Day

Books Not Presently Up at Amazon

  The Attorney for the Attorney Representing the Client’s Attorney---A Legal Thriller Balzac’s Listicle of SCOTUS Decisions on Penal Reform Other People We Must Arm & Why---Essays on fear-mongering from the NRA Nantucket: Beyond the Limericks Dirty Rhymes, Inappropriate Puns, & Other Reasons Dad Shouldn't Drink So Much Dr. Pepper Treats Sgt. Pepper’s Chest Wound: … Continue reading Books Not Presently Up at Amazon

Review–Memoir from Paraguay

Latest review posted at Peace Corps Worldwide, home for Peace Corps-affiliated writers who publish stories from around the world. Mark Salvatore  writes simple, declarative sentences. His Peace Corps memoir, Shade of the Paraiso, is stripped to fact and detail, observation and truth. Even its replication of time — passing slowly at first, building inexorably over months, … Continue reading Review–Memoir from Paraguay

Levity with Brevity

My copy of Flash Nonfiction Funny cometh! I hope the wait's as brief as the material---rib-tickling bites of 750 words or less compiled by editors Tom Hazuka and Dinty W. Moore (yes). As the book makes its way to my doorstep, I'm looking at the anthology's 71 contributors (including myself) and the first name to … Continue reading Levity with Brevity

Debut Fiction Review–Love Is the Punch Line

Kathleen Jones' debut novel should be appearing tomorrow. It's a spinning yo-yo of ups and downs in hysterical pursuit of middle-aged romance. Advance review: Outside observers might wonder what middle-aged romantics Josh Steinberg and Holly Brannigan see in each other, beyond the mirror image of their mutual loneliness. In Kathleen Jones’s debut novel, Love Is … Continue reading Debut Fiction Review–Love Is the Punch Line

The London Embassy

What to read this week? Paul Theroux’s The London Embassy, of course! This day in history U.S. diplomacy with England took over a new location. Our landmark perch in Grosvenor Square is no more. I visited the location once---an aside to the controversy going on right now, and one that makes this move feel deeply … Continue reading The London Embassy