Tag Archives: literature

Maneuvering the 19th Century Parisian Sewers in “Les Miserables”

First, I’m going to shout this out because it’s finally true and because I have earned the satisfaction of saying it: I FINISHED READING LES MISERABLES LAST NIGHT! A few months back, when a couple of old college girlfriends and I talked about reading … Continue reading

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“Brideshead Revisited” — What ISN’T it About?

In the spring of 1991, as a senior in college enrolled in a Satire Seminar at a small, liberal arts Catholic College, I read Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited for the first time. Only 6 or 7 seniors took the class and … Continue reading

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A Favorite Old Poem

I loved you; even now I may confess, Some embers of my life their fire retain; But do not let it cause you more distress, I do not want to sadden you again. Hopeless and tonguetied, yet I loved you … Continue reading

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Geraldine Brooks On My Mind, or, a Note About Islands

I am approaching the end of an unforgettable book, “Caleb’s Crossing,” by the great Geraldine Brooks. I don’t want it to end. What a story, what an imagination, what a vocabulary, what a writer! I have about 15 pages left … Continue reading

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Today, Langston Hughes

“Motto” (1951) I play it cool And dig all jive That’s the reason I stay alive. My motto, As I live and learn,        is: Dig And Be Dug In Return.

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“The Secret” by Denise Levertov

Two girls discover the secret of life in a sudden line of poetry. I who don’t know the secret wrote the line. They told me (through a third person) they had found it but not what it was not even … Continue reading

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Ann Patchett’s “State of Wonder”

A couple of years back, I read and loved David Grann’s The Lost City of Z, a true story about a late 19th- and early 20th-century British explorer, Percy Fawcett, who traveled many times to the Amazon to search for a … Continue reading

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