The internet that we now well know, came into its own in only 1997, in the so called “Dot Com Boom.” I was personally caught up in all the excitement, which changed my life dramatically, to say the least.
In 1998 I was living in San Francisco. This was the starting point of startup high tech firms moving into our city instead of Silicon Village. An old friend, and former writer of mine from The Crisis, Molly Askin, recommended me for the job of editor of one of the first major shopping portals on the web.
It turned out that it was my Ph.D. in what was to come.
What an interesting world Molly introduced me into. The chief engineer was in his early 20s, and had orange hair. This was my boss. He liked me because old fashion bohemian San Francisco was still in play.
Once everyone in Engineering learned that my first novel, The Womanizer, had been published, and I was planning a big bash, and was going to invite everyone in the new company, suddenly I was “interesting.”
And, also, even after them learning I once taught for many years at UC Berkeley, didn’t dampen the rumors surrounding me.
I realized long after, that I was lucky that I was placed under Engineering, not marketing. I have to admit that at first that gave me pause. I thought that maybe these young white men (with few blacks, Asians and women of any color) would have me for lunch.
I knew nothing about computers. I didn’t even know now to turn one on. I wrote my novels on a typewriter, or word processor.
I think being a former university professor saved me.
I was used to smart young people like them. After all, I taught at UC Berkeley, which with Stanford, lord it over the entire Bay Area. You don’t have better intellectual chops in the Bay Area than that!
My new young friends taught me most of what I now know today and even how to hack; and I would tease them that, despite all their money, they can’t get a date because the tech world is almost all male.
“At least I have a girlfriend. So, don’t bother me!”
I first thought the job was going to be a breeze and thanked Molly profusely. After all, I ran national magazines and newspapers for years. What’s a couple of paragraphs per the 2,500 stores I had to keep an eye on? Plus, they gave me a small staff of writers.
But, I soon realized that folks like Macy’s, Andy’s Basement, in Boston and the mighty Niemen Marcus, change their copy daily. Oh Vey!
Brodia.com worked my black, Bronx, wise guy ass off, mainly because none of us at the company, not even our CEO, knew quite what we were doing, although the pay was beyond good. I held meetings where we discussed for hours should it be E-Commence, Ecommerce, ecommerce, e-commence?
There was no language yet.
When the bubble busted in 1999, and the Dot Com Boom was no more, we pioneers, the new 49ers, if you will, knew that it was not over.
The internet is new. Neworld Review has been a part of it for half of its life, thanks to you, the reader. Let’s have ten more years, and ten more years after that, and ten more years after that.
At an out-of-control medical center in NYC, HR manager, Melie, pleads feverishly with buttock-groping doctors and their flaky staff to just get along. But then there's a little murder, a cancer, a handsome devil and his evil parrot, a knife-wielding cook. She's not quitting until she has it all sorted out —the hunk, the macaw, her life work—and neither will you!
Each month a mysterious alchemy takes place in magazine publishing. And then: A new issue of Vanity Fair appears. What does one find in that periodical’s pages?
For starters, there’s great photography complementing the spellbinding (and often serious) journalism, with articles and pictures exploring, exposing, and confronting issues far and wide: distant wars and America’s foreign policies; domestic tensions and the crises of addiction, abuse, and economics; all the metrics of modern life.
Yet somehow, amid that admixture, there are also a slew of star-powered cinematic flashes, high society lowdowns, interviews and profiles – all written with muscle. Literary muscle. Powerful sentences and surprising transitions. Diction intended to delight and challenge, but never mystify. In other words: Great writers are at work.
Of course we hear echoes of George Plimpton when the phrase “writers at work” is recycled. That’s no accident. Just as The Paris Review (in all of its distinction as a literary quarterly for decades) manifested Mr. Plimpton’s well-educated, bon vivant persona, and just as William F. Buckley’s Ivy League high IQ personified much of the National Review for half a century, so, too, does Vanity Fair depend on its editor.
Therefore, in the remarkable new anthology Vanity Fair’s Writers on Writers, it’s not just the 41 writers whose work is featured or their 40-plus subjects who are on display. This bold collection also puts editor Graydon Carter in the spotlight.
The book’s concept is a tribute to the power of the word. No photos appear in this book. Only words. But the unified theme of having more than forty writers say what they have to say about more than forty other influential, innovative, astute, visionary, consequential authors is a theme that helps sustain this engaging work.
Divided into nine sections, Vanity Fair’s Writers on Writers begins with Christopher Hitchens’s piece on Dorothy Parker – aptly appearing under this rubric: “One Vanity Fair Contrarian Recalls Another.” That opener, though, follows a highly necessary (and meticulously brief) Introduction by David Friend, who joined Vanity Fair as editor of creative development in 1998, after being Life magazine’s director of photography. Providing readers with a comprehensive summary of Vanity Fair’s storied publishing history, David Friend asserts right away: “Literature runs in Vanity Fair’s veins.”
The body of work that follows in this book supports his claim.
Peruse the Contents of this chronicle and you might feel giddy. There is a dizzying amount of talent on display, starting with the first section: “On Poets.”
The legacy of W. H Auden is assessed by Joseph Brodsky and Susan Cheever (yes, daughter of John) marvelously highlights e. e. cummings. In her own mercurial way, legendary poet Elizabeth Bishop is then featured, with Marianne Moore as her topic.
That first section is a feast. And it only gets better. “On Literary Lions” is the follow-up, and its eight profiles of iconic authors give the reader an octet of captivating biographical essays, all written by notable, idiosyncratic, distinguished scribes.
It’s a Who’s Who: The late, great Willie Morris (one upon a time the youthful and trailblazing editor of Harper’s magazine) reminds us in “Eudora Welty” that she was “game for anything, always peering around the next bend.” And Anne Tyler is quick to note in “Reynolds Price” that he “used to wear a long black cape with a scarlet lining.” Just as particular and detailed are the many ways in which Martin Amis anatomizes a Nobel Prizewinner in “Saul Bellow” or the flourishes that James Wolcott beings to his “Jack Kerouac” profile.
The heft of “Literary Lions” is enhanced by A. Scott Berg’s exquisite work “Ernest Hemingway,” as well as Sam Kashner’s in-depth “Truman Capote” piece. “Tom Wolfe” by Michael Lewis also shines.
Inevitably, in a section called “A Family Affair,” there’s a powerhouse trio of pieces on the Dunne clan (John Gregory, Dominick, and Joan Didion Dunne).
In a funny way, though, even amid such a mighty array of writers composing commemorative essays on colleagues in the pantheon, someone looms large.
You guessed it. Biographer Patricia Boswoth’s piece, “Norman Mailer,” is in the middle of the section dubbed “Literary Lions,” just as ol’ stormin’ Norman managed to make his advertisements for himself the center of literary attention for almost all of his lengthy, foot-stomping career. Ms. Bosworth’s deft ability to make Mailer’s all-too-familiar name and endeavors seem both inspired and illuminating is admirable. She accomplishes the nearly impossible....Read More
Two years ago, a group of celebrities decided to create an animated feature about the career of Janet Collins, one of the finest ballerinas in America. Her stellar life would be developed by the Sweet Blackberry organization, which chronicles the achievements of often-neglected African American talents, under the leadership of Karyn Parsons, the actress popularized in the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Comedian Chris Rock has been chosen to narrate the upcoming 20-minute feature.
Who was Janet Collins? Most Americans do not know Collins, who was the first black prima ballerina of the Metropolitan Opera House in the early 1950s and a force in American classical ballet. What makes her remarkable career is that it excelled during the political firestorm of Jim Crow and racial discrimination. This notable life is revisited in journalist Yael Tamar Lewin’s recent biography of the dancer, Night’s Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins, a hybrid of the pioneer’s words and the writer’s observations.
Born in March 7, 1917 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Collins moved with her family to Los Angeles, California, where her parents encouraged her in dance classes. Her first instruction occurred at a Catholic community center, a series of classes that spurred her to seek further guidance from teachers, including Carmelita Maracci, Lester Horton, and Adolph Bolm. These whites saw no difference in the abilities of their young black charges, contrary to the popular belief at the time.
Critics of the diversity in modern dance embraced the black stereotypes, the erotic, the vulgar, the primitive, the other. They remembered the huge buttocks and breasts of Venus Hottentot, which captured the national interest generations before. The black physique, according to some, lacked the elegance and grace required for classical dance.
As master dancer Alvin Ailey commented about the furor over the African American body, he said: “Those were the days when they told you, ‘Your hips are wrong, your back is wrong, your feet are wrong, your legs won’t turn out, so don’t come to our ballet school.”
The magnificence of this book is that Collins’s words were gleaned from her unfinished autobiography to start the work. Lewin, writing on assignment for Dance Magazine in 1997, did a piece on Collins. In fact, she thought they would collaborate on her memoirs, but the dancer lost interest in the endeavor while confronting health issues.
The first two chapters of the book consist of her thoughts as she sets the table for what is to follow, the bulk of the Lewin’s text compiled from research of the New York Public Library and Met Opera archives.
“As early as I can remember, I loved to dance and I loved to paint and draw,” Collins wrote. “My entire family encouraged me – in fact, we were all encouraged to follow our natural endowments. Actually, I remember no one in my entire family ever being like anyone else – all were staunchly individual, and outspoken. It is a miracle how we ever managed to be a family, but that we were.”
Collins struck to her dream of dance despite society’s objections that she quit. In 1932, she, as a 15-year-old girl, auditioned for the famed Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, which demanded that she painted her face and skin white to enhance her performance. She refused the job.
Later, Collins was interviewed by the New York Times in 1974, explaining her response to the racist request. “I said no,” she said emotionally. “I sat on the steps and I cried and cried.”
With her art skills, Collins was awarded a scholarship to Art Center College of Design in 1936, but she continued to dance. She performed in Lester Horton’s Le Sacre du Printemps at the Hollywood Bowl, followed by dancing two years later in a Federal Theatre Project, a revival of Hall Johnson’s Run, Little Chillum. At 21, she performs in the Los Angeles run of Swing Mikado and joined with actor Eddie “Rochester” Anderson on a national tour to New York.
Evolving into an artist of worth, an individual must dedicate herself to a goal with a determination and steel resolve that sometimes stretches her reality. Real zeal. Collins realized that she was....Read More
You should see me, Father! I can’t believe it. But it’s true, Father. So true.
I’m standing in front of my bathroom mirror, shaving and preparing myself for dinner with Lucy Libid, and her grandmother, Anna K. Libid. And, I was taking inventory on myself.
I was 53 years old. But, I still had my health and my well-built, 6’3 body. My teeth were still intact, still white and even. Mother’s bright blue eyes shown clearly from my light tan, cooper face. If I might say so, I’m still handsome in a rugged, aging kind of way. I kept my head shaven so I didn’t know if I had any real hair left or not.
Maybe, Father, all those years of military training had imprinted me permanently, because I still got up each morning and did my push-ups. I still cooked and ate the right food. My body was in great shape; it was just my mind that’s all fucked up.
Lucy had made sure that I was going to make this date by setting the time, the place and date right there on the bench! She pulled out a small, wooden pencil and little card and wrote down her address and e-number.
She pushed the note with the information into my hands, and the look on her face said I better not, not show up. It was a good thing that she went to all this effort, because if she had been causal about it, I know I would have found a reason not to go.
As soon as I got back to my apartment, I hurriedly looked through box after box, and opened and closed drawers, until I found the well-preserved program for Uncle Vanya, with a picture of the cast.
I knew it was here! The moment I remembered who her grandmother was, my mind quickly flashed on that program. As I looked at it, I smiled to myself. I was so glad to have found it.
I remembered witnessing a little fight between Mother and The Gangster over that program. Mother, as always, wanted only the best, which meant glossy paper, coated stock, with a full color photo of the cast members on the back page, to top it off.
The Gangster was beside himself! He was huffing and puffing all around our living room. He just didn’t want to spend that kind of money on a fancy program.
“No, Shasa! No, damnit!” he shouted loudly at her in English. “Better to spend the money on an ad. Why spend that kind of money for just a program?”
For a brief moment, Father, I thought that I heard for the first time, the mean, ruthless, brutal Gangster in his voice. The same Gangster people lowered their voices and eyes, and softly whispered about whenever he past them on the crowded streets of Brighton Beach.
But how wrong I was, Father.
“Just a program?” Mother answered back in a cool, no nonsense voice in her precise Russian. She put her hands on her thin hips and fixed her small, cold blue eyes on him, now even smaller than usual.
“Ok! Ok!” The Gangster said quickly, throwing up his hands in defeat, the hardness all but gone from his voice.
Talk about a weenie, Father!
It obviously didn’t take much for Mother to get her way with this man! I only smiled to myself at what a pushover he was. It was hard to believe that he was a hard-ass Gangster, the way Mother was always pushing him around, grabbing him by his ankles and shaking every dine out of him, whenever she wanted.
It was a good thing that Mother was so persistent (and spoiled rotten, I might add!). As I looked at the program, that photo of them looked as if it was taken yesterday. There was Mother in a big white wig, looking all the world like an Old-World Russian. And there was the pretty young Anna K. Libid.
If my calculations are correct, Lucy’s grandmother must be at least 67 or 68 years old, given that I was only fifteen when we first met so many years ago. When she played the young Helen, she could have been the same age as Lucy is now.
I remembered Mother complaining about now hard it was to fill....Read More
An outdoor café is an ideal setting to read Enrique Vila-Matas’ stories; you can imagine the writer himself happening by and making you a character in the untranslatable sound-and-light show that must run through his head. The café where I began reading Vampire in Love was in New York’s Hudson Valley, and a chalkboard sign beckoned customers by asking, “Do you need more coffee? Do you hear colors? Switch to decaf.”
Or, keep pouring down the caffeine, and maybe you’ll begin to understand the gauzy boundaries between the senses in this amazing Spanish Catalan writer’s paean-to-post-Modernism and myriad literary-greats, a melding-of-genres meta-fiction. Vila-Matas, born in Barcelona in 1948, has written 20-some odd novels and has collected at least a dozen international literary prizes over the course of his career, but only in the past decade has his work begun to appear in English, largely through the efforts of New Directions Publishing.
The truth is, I didn’t read Vampire in Love in the café. I just passed the sign and thought I should be reading it. Then I noticed a man who looked a lot like Vila-Matas walking by. I followed him around a corner—until he turned and admonished, “I’m just impersonating the author.”
That’s what it’s like to read Vila-Matas. A narrator who is the author often follows a character to chase down that person’s story, and the narrator gets cagey about who he is and what is really happened. In playing the narrator he seems ever conscious of the mantle he’s borrowed from others, notably Jorge Luis Borges, who blurred genre boundaries and deployed elaborate literary hoaxes to interrogate literature as we knew it, and Roberto Bolaño, who idolized Borges and used detective characters to cast a jaded eye on the literary world. Vila-Matas often has someone spying on his characters, including the narrator/author and is aware that his presence will upend them.
“I am a pursuer of other people’s lives, a kind of lazy detective, a storyteller,” one such narrator explains in “The Hour of the Tired and Weary,” a story in which the color palette is all vivid, film-noirish shades of gray that seep into your bones like damp weather. Vila-Matas describes the time of day, twilight, as “the crepuscular hour when even the shadows grow weary.” Indeed, while his characters consume a lot of coffee, and a lot of whiskey and amphetamines, what fuels them more than substances is a kind of synesthesia. That is, his stories are full of a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second pathway. Life and art wind together in a crepuscular way, as do life and death.
Take the story “Rosa Schwarzer Comes Back to Life,” about a 50-year-old Dusseldorf museum guard whose very name walks the line between a painting she calls “Monsieur Pink” and....Read More
In light of the current political climate, the search is on for the origins of prejudice and racial segregation in the history of our republic. Where does this blight come from in our American democracy? Does the concept of Jim Crow hold the answer for the need for white privilege and entitlement? Can the rationale and reason for black oppression be explained in the notion of “separate but equal?”
The separation of the races, Nicholas Guyatt suggests in his astonishing book, Bind Us Apart, didn’t start with the Civil War or the cotton economy. He moves us back to the Founding Fathers, those liberal reformers and their dissent against the British Crown, and their thirst for religious freedom and their cry against taxation without representation.
Needless to say, the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights embraced equality but with one drawback: that of granting basic freedoms to the Native Americans and African-Americans. Although Thomas Jefferson, as president, had signed a bill banning the country’s active participation in international slave trade, he still owned slaves on Monticello and saw integration as not the solution of bondage of the dark men and women. Some of his peers thought the slaves should be freed and taken to the wilderness of the western states, but Jefferson put off any action on the problem, saying antislavery was “an enterprise for the young.”
Whereas Jefferson’s notion of “all men are created equal” disturbed the framers, the idea of ending human chattel evaporated in a mist against the practical solution of abolition. The whites feared what a liberated mass of blacks could do. Would anyone be safe? Would they remember the past injustices suffered by them? Slavery was the cruel barrier that held....Read More
Not all of the people who contributed to my reconstruction of my father’s story were aware they were doing so. All, however, have my thanks for their help.
My mother had gone to see her sister in Vermont, a visit she'd been planning long before she got the news, and my father, though he missed her, thought he'd do a little quiet celebrating on his own. He cleaned his rollers and brushes, gathered up his dropcloths, and stowed everything in the van. He'd have a beer or two on the way home, maybe hit the Square later and catch a movie. Perhaps in the morning he'd go down to the kung fu school, apologize to Sifu for staying away so long, and train for a couple of hours.
He got behind the wheel and checked his mirrors. He took a copy of my mother's sonogram--their first picture of me--from the seat beside him, folded it, and put it in his pocket. It was early yet, the gray winter hour after the streetlights come on but before the stars come out. Sully's Place would still be pretty dead. My father drove up Mass Ave toward Harvard Square, passed the bar, and turned onto a snow-choked, narrow side street. He found a parking space on the left and took it slow, leaning forward to get a better view in the wing mirror, feeling his way with the tires against the curb. He'd been blind in his left eye for about two years: a prefab window had shattered as he wrestled it into place. Of course, he had learned to compensate, and while my mother worried about his driving, [I never interviewed my mother for this project, but I did grow up with her.] my father worried more about the Registry of Motor Vehicles, to which he had neglected to report his infirmity.
The place was more crowded than my father had expected. Several of the tables and booths were taken, and people stood scattered the length of the bar. Among them, toward the back of the room, my father noted the shabby figure of the Norton Poet. [When I interviewed Mr. Sullivan, he remembered the Norton Poet fondly, though he declined to reveal his given name. The Norton Poet died of exposure, apparently, not long after the episode related here. My father was known to Mr. Sullivan by his surname, Edgerton. The surname listed on my birth certificate is Wheeler, my mother’s name, which she kept when she married my father.] He'd have to remember not to leave his money on the bartop beside his drink.
My father draped his coat over the back of a barstool and stood beside it, one foot up on the brass footrail. Sully's Place had been a bar....Read More
I had visions of the snarling Jack Nickolson spewing out his classic, “You can’t handle the truth,” to hard-driving, well-meaning prosecuting attorney Tom Cruise, as I listened to disk after truth-telling disk recording a tale that literally turned my stomach. I wasn’t sure if I could “handle it” –even on so remote a level. But I listened as a kind of atonement for living my easy life, and my no-risk “support” of our servicemen and auxiliary personnel who endured unspeakable life changing traumas.
I listened as the process of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) unfolded layer by layer inviting the audience to become witness to the evolution of a human being. I listened to the crisp, clipped, truncated, staccato-like word-bullets that were transferred from page to disk projecting “just the facts,” – (read by the author) because the feelings, the raw emotions ̶ had to be snuffed out and dismissed.
Eric Fair was a civilian interrogator at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq and in Fallujah. He wound up there having been rejected by the military because of a heart condition, and rejected, also, by the Seminary School at Princeton for reasons not quite clear. The contrast between his inner being and the type of “work-person” seemingly required for his job is the grisly tale of this book.
Having enlisted in the Army in 1995, he fortuitously discovered an Arab Language program which eventually gave him the rare expertise that was in such demand in Iraq. His Presbyterian/Military family background growing up in depressed-era Bethlehem, Pennsylvania gave impetus to his semi-conflicted, unfulfilled dream of becoming either a Police Officer or a Pastor.
This is a glorified “confessional” from a deeply religious individual who was a participant in one of the most dehumanizing torture events in the history of our country, and an indictment of the “system” that not only allowed it to take place, but encouraged it, and refused to apologize for it, rationalizing it merely as justification during warfare.
In 2004, Fair was an employee of CACI, a private contractor supplying interrogation services at the prison. He describes the prison atmosphere as chaotic and disorganized with insufficient personnel and supplies. But, nonetheless, Fair participated in and witnessed sub-human physical abuse to prisoners and in many cases innocent detainees ̶ acts that he describes so graphically as to....Read More
If anyone asked me that question, I’d immediately cite J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye (which is funny and heartrending at the same time), and quickly I’d add Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. But soon enough, I’d falter. Right off the bat, I cannot think of one dozen laugh-out-loud funny books. It seems to me that there’s a reason for this.
By and large, in the world of books there is a prejudice against laughter that’s similar to the bias in the realms of TV and films. Drama is considered the coin of the realm, and comedy is almost always categorized as a less impressive mode. And yet, to paraphrase Jerry Lewis, a thousand actors can play Hamlet – but there could be only one Little Tramp, because there was only one Charlie Chaplin.
In the case of Lianne Stokes and her spirited debut memoir Below Average: A Life Way Under the Bar, there’s a rollicking narrative that’s just as funny and heartrending as The Catcher in the Rye, minus Holden’s predilection for profanity.
From its clever title to its anecdotal overview of growing up shy, awkward, and often out-of-step in the age of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, MTV and AOL, the transition out of the 1990s and into the 21st century, this memoir by Lianne Stokes might qualify as the autobiography of a generation. That is to say, she represents the generation of younger white American women who emerged after the Sex and the City phenomenon, but before Girls and the world according to Lena Dunham.
Below Average has hit a nerve with the media because it’s easy to highlight one of its narrative motifs. In short, the author waited until she was 30 before losing her virginity. She did not....Read More
I have often turned to Jeff Herman’s continuing updated guide to book publishers, editors and literary agents. When I first started writing, years ago, I turned to it in seeking an agent. His book lists hundreds of agents, most of who, as expected, live in New York City.
When I started Neworld Review in 2007, Herman’s book was really a Godsend, because I was able to used it to contact publishers, editors and publicity departments at “a numerically tiny oligarchy of multinational, trillion-dollar conglomerates,” independent presses and university presses. This provided me with a ready stream of book and publishing information that allowed me to stay up to date with the latest trends in the publishing industry.
What was also invaluable was Herman’s advice to new writers about how to avoid some of the scams that permeate the industry, as predators exploit would-be authors, authors that would do almost anything to get published.
“Bogus agents make money in countless ways,” he writes, “other than by doing what real agents do. Bogus agents tend not to ever sell works to traditional publishers and don’t operate on the basic of earning commissions. Instead, they may offer amazing promises and an itemized menu of non-agent services, like simply reading your works for a fee… If someone says she will be your agent and if you pay her money, then she isn’t a bona....Read More
It’s almost twenty-five years later, and the JULIA CAMERON industry continues to flourish. With a title like this: “It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again,” its appeal reaches out to people way over 30 who figure they could “do” life better.
To justify my use of the word “industry,”: Cameron has created workbooks, prayer books, date books, meditations, movies, musicals, memoirs, fiction, poetry, plays, etc, so numerous as to discourage listing – making Joyce Carol Oates look like a slacker.
If you don’t know Julia Cameron, be sure not to admit it in circles dedicated to self improvement, creativity, artistic expression, dogged self-discipline, the writing life and spirituality. Her original treatise, “The Artist’s Way,” published in 1992 is the landmark bible for subjects dealing with all of the above. Those for whom its content nurtured major life improvement, remain in worshipful gratitude to this woman, born in 1948 and briefly (1976-1977) married to Martin Scorscese.
If you’ve come this far, it’s only fair that I report on her latest, the subtitle of which is “Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond.” a rehash with additives of the original ARTIST’S WAY – successfully geared to an older population of enthusiastic wannabees. (folks who “wanna” have the most meaningful, creative, overall satisfying life possible)
For readers not yet familiar with Cameron’s signature technique, her “Morning Pages,” assignment has been assiduously followed by her acolytes since the concept was first brought to light in THE ARTIST’S WAY. Her followers joyfully (or sometimes “not-so” ) put a writing instrument (definitely NOT a computer) to three 8 ½ by 11 “pages” daily as part of their awakening routine following the toothbrushing, face washing, and whatever other dreary-eyed ablutions in which they are engaged. This is the “Pitcher’s Pen” of warm-up writing and is rightfully hailed by its many fans as freeing, inspiring, revealing, and effective as a valuable kind of introspective connection with self. The words need not make sense—they can be jots, notes, fragments, run-on sentences, stories, feelings, thoughts, a grammarian’s nightmare – just as long as the writing experience is representative of the writer at that moment in time.....Read More
Drew Magary’s second novel, The Hike, is The Odyssey on hallucinogens. Realistically, The Odyssey is The Odyssey on hallucinogens, but Magary’s tale takes one man’s struggle to return to his family to new places in the imagination.
Ben arrives early for a business meeting at a hotel in the Poconos. With time to spare, he goes for a little hike, but the path has other plans for him. Ben finds himself in a world outside of time and space, a world that threatens his life and challenges every fiber of his resolve. In this strange new realm, Ben will face the past that was and the past that could have been, all the while struggling to avoid....Read More
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