Category Archives: creativity and its discontents

The Letters of Shirley Jackson—a Preview!

I’ve been busy reading the delightful, yet somewhat vexing Letters of Shirley Jackson (Random House, 672 pp., $14.99 on Kindle) and writing a long review of it! Finding a home (irony alert, as Shirley was always focused on the physical … Continue reading

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Happy Pride 2021

Pride comes but once a year! This month we are emerging from a pandemic. It feels like we ought to be joyous and yet there is more anxiety in the air than joyousness, for the most part. (Although on June … Continue reading

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A Final Word on Blake Bailey

You can’t keep a bad man down. That’s what sprang to mind when I read on Twitter yesterday that Blake Bailey’s infamous biography of Philip Roth, unpublished by Norton, had been picked up by Skyhorse Publishing and will be rushed … Continue reading

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Review: Summer Will Show by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Occasionally, I will pick up a library book (and I vow to do this more, post-pandemic). I wanted to review a striking, mostly forgotten novel by 20th-century English author Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978), whose long life spanned almost a century … Continue reading

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It’s Spring!

And that’s always exciting. This was what my kitchen looked like last month, with the fruit trees outside in the terraced back yard pressing in at the window. Things are greener now. The cedar waxwings are taking their last bites … Continue reading

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I don’t post enough literary advice/inspiration, but now that I am submitting pieces a bit more again, here is some brilliant advice about putting yourself out there, from a new writer connection on Twitter. It jumped out at me today. … Continue reading

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Review: Moving On—Two Ex-Beatles’ Very Different Lives in the 1970s

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Beatles lately. Perhaps it’s because I started off the New Year by reading Mark Lewisohn’s masterful Tune In (2013), the first book in his proposed Beatles’ trilogy. It’s long and exhaustive, but you … Continue reading

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Review: Between Heaven and Hell by David Talbot

Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of My Stroke (Chronicle Prism, 176 pp, $22.95, January 2020) David Talbot—journalist, popular historian, longtime San Francisco resident, and author of Season of the Witch—has written a surprisingly vulnerable, intimate, often funny and engaging … Continue reading

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A Short Month, but an Exhausting One!

September was pretty exhausting! Due to a reshuffle at a magazine I work for, I was unexpectedly placed in a different role: copyediting rather than proofing. When I used to work for the Pacific Sun in San Rafael, I envied … Continue reading

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The Abstract-Impressionism of Berthe Morisot and Joan Mitchell

    Guest blogger Paula Butterfield’s novel about the life and work of impressionist artist Berthe Morisot, “La Luministe,” will be published by Regal House on March 15, 2019. She stops by to discuss the surprising similarities between Morisot and … Continue reading

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