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Telling Our Stories

We need to tell our stories, whether in our private scribbles or public memoirs. If reading can connect us to each other, writing can connect us to ourselves.

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Books Connect Us to Gratitude

This year, as the holidays arrive – maddeningly even earlier this year than last – I find myself fighting to find meaning in it all. I can feel weighted down by the amount of ‘stuff’ I own, yet still feel called upon to add to during the holidays. That even includes books. At the same time, I feel blessed that many of these books opened my eyes to the lives of others, and brought me closer to my women friends reading them along with me.

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George Saunders on Writing, Faith, and Craft

It was a difficult story, and I wasn’t quite figuring it out, and I would have probably given up, but it was George Saunders, and I wanted to know what was going to happen. And just as my husband approached a stoplight where I had ridden my bike throughout adolescence, I got to the brilliant end, which made a kind of cosmic sense that brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart, and I thought this guy must be the greatest short story writer ever.

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On Coming Home Again Through Poetry

I’ve experienced poetry in the ivory tower, listened awe-struck as a talented professor took the class line by line through a poem’s secret meaning like a magician pulling scarves from his sleeve and, finally, a rabbit. But the secret, it turns out, isn’t actually secret. It’s there for anyone to grab with a little effort, a few minutes of uninterrupted thought. Readers of poetry are less like slick magicians than ordinary folk straining to unscrew a jar lid. Just put some elbow into it.

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Unspeakable Circumstances

The play raises profound questions about what it means to survive. If the cost of survival is abandoning one’s lover and denying one’s own identity, is that really survival? If being murdered is the price of affirming one’s identity, what is survival worth? There are no correct answers to these questions. When camp inmates were able to make choices (and they were rarely able to do so), it is not for us to judge choices made in unspeakable circumstances.