A Novel Coronavirus Novel

Will sustained isolation lead to a baby boom or a novel boom? Long before COVID-19, the most recent novel coronavirus to come along, I’d toyed with the idea of writing a novel called A Novel. As is usually the case in the life of a novelist, however, I ran into a few problems right off … Continue reading A Novel Coronavirus Novel

Phenomenal Women

On International Women’s Day, I’m thinking about all the phenomenal women I admire around the world, including the nameless, faceless, toiling women who sow and reap the corn they’ll dry and grind into the flour they’ll pound and cook to feed their families in between their hours at the river beating clothes against the stones … Continue reading Phenomenal Women

COVID, or Covfefe?

Covfefe is the sound of an old man choking on his attempt to say "COVID" While forced isolation has us looking for ways to pass the time at home, I look for something meaningful to read and settle on Poe. The meandering path of my literary pursuit began this morning with Book Fight!, a Podcast … Continue reading COVID, or Covfefe?

When I’m Not Writing

This is what I write about when I'm not writing: Stuff I read The ice in my drink vs the bell around my cat's neck Titles of books I'd like to write The news Rage at the universe when the universe applies its whims inexorably against my wishes Politics Things I think are funny but … Continue reading When I’m Not Writing

Blogging in the Filter Bubble

The new Internet doesn’t just know you’re a dog; it knows your breed and wants to sell you a bowl of premium kibble. Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble is a call to self-reflection on how we represent ourselves—consciously and unconsciously—in the digital age. “You click on a link, which signals an interest in something, … Continue reading Blogging in the Filter Bubble

About Mohamed

Every year this time my thoughts turn to Mohamed (his story is here). I had reason to conjure his story this fall and found the image below. Pictured is the American Library, Kabul, circa 1958. Is this the building where Mohamed learned to love the United States? Where he read American authors and watched American movies? … Continue reading About Mohamed

Publication vs Glory

When I feel lonely in my writing I turn for companionship to John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction. The title provides added comfort, referring to Gardner's concise review of our trade as “Notes on Craft for Young Writers," implying that those who should benefit from it—and I benefit from it every time I open it up—are … Continue reading Publication vs Glory

Gandhi at 150

It's been 150 years since Gandhi's birth, initiating a circle that goes round today. This year Gandhi Jayanti falls on the fourth day of Navratri, and so we've made his iconic ashram part of our annual display. It's nearly finished, this replica of his simple home on the banks of the Sabarmati River in Gujarat. … Continue reading Gandhi at 150

Holidays Upon Us

It's that time of year! The lights are out and the home is warm. For the next weeks and months we'll enjoy the soft glow of string lights. Here in Western India Navratri begins tomorrow. It lasts nine nights. Throughout the period, in this part of the country, we'll recognize the victory of good over … Continue reading Holidays Upon Us

Cube Farm

BOGIE, or Why I Wrote Patchworks My second novel addresses gun violence in America. It didn’t start out that way. Patchworks' protagonist, a millennial grad student interning for peanuts within a government bureaucracy, didn’t appear until several months into writing. And, angry as I felt to see America shredded over and over again by episodes of massive … Continue reading Cube Farm