e c l e c t i c a n o n f i c t i o n
(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)
On Legacy and Influence
But this account is not about my mother, who outlived dad by only six weeks; with her death she has finally freed me to write the truth.
Why Emily Dickinson Would Not Smile For the Camera
Heisenberg was not thinking of Candid Camera when he formulated his Principle of Indeterminacy, but the idea has become a workable metaphor for a common-sense truth: to observe is to participate. Candid Camera, to the extent that it denied that truth, distorted reality, no matter how persuasive and entertaining its examination of the human comedy; the same is obviously true of "reality shows" today.
That Man Across the Street
Over the years I spent in Lexington I had many occasions to see him, hear him read, and once, in the hall outside his office as I waited to see another teacher whose office was close by, he gave me a very peculiar stare as he slowly closed his office door—he on the inside, me on the out—and in my memory the last thing that disappeared was his right eye, a jittery, peculiar flicker from the shadows. I think I smiled, and I think he didn't.
It All Came Down To a Serious Relationship With Eleanor Rigby
Serendipity created both characters in a way. One arrived half by sound, and half by memory, and the other arrived from free-association with the phone book.
West Texas Justice
"Like hell you'll wait! We're goin' back over there tomorrow and get this thing over with," he tenderly counseled. "Don't make no sense waitin' for your face to heal when it's just gonna get busted up again."
Tundra Child, Deep Freeze
I've got a former client holed up in a two-room apartment on the east side of town. She's got one hand on a whiskey bottle, the other on a razor blade, and for two months now has been guzzling to oblivion, surfacing only to replenish her whiskey supply and to carve weird designs along her forearms. She calls me in the middle of the night to remind me how much she hates white people, men, social workers, shrinks and cops.
Exodus for Some (A Memoir)
The house was a sort of one-man safe house, with Jim acting as a father figure, social worker, and spiritual adviser. There was a large turnover of tenants with new people turning up all the time to replace those who had gone back home, paired up and left, been put in jail for drug offences, or been admitted or committed to one of the city's two psychiatric hospitals.