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Anything That Moves Me

Performance Anxiety

I'm lighter by a couple of Facebook friends recently and, what's worse, I'm down one "Like" of my Author page.

As anybody who uses Facebook knows, we live or die by how many "Like"s we get— Read More 
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Review of Swamplandia by Karen Russell

Swamplandia!Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


We don't really need another three-star review of Karen Russell's Swamplandia! Most of what I have to say about the book has been said wittily and well by other reviewers. But after mulling over my reaction to this critically acclaimed but, for many ordinary readers, disappointing book, I feel it epitomizes the problem of today's publishing world.  Read More 
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Survivors

Most of us, if asked, will probably say we enjoy reading or seeing movies about survivors, not losers. But if presented with genuine survivors, people who struggle so hard at just getting by that all other concerns—love and sex and leisure and pleasure and creativity, must of necessity be pushed aside—we don't like that either. It's too depressing, too…threatening.  Read More 
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Play recommendation: Muerte Subita

"Andres is passionately writing his third novel." That's the deceptively benign situation of Muerte Subita* (Sudden Death), the exhilarating--and frightening--play by noted Mexican playwright Sabina Berman that has just three performances left at the Gershwin Hotel in New York City. If you are a writer, an artist, or anybody who enjoys intimate, perfectly realized theater productions, you won't want to miss Muerte Subita.  Read More 
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Even Achilles Ate Ketchup

I arrived at this silly title after reading Daniel Mendelsohn's review of Madeline Miller's debut novel, "The Song of Achilles," in Sunday's NY Times book review and filtering it through a recent conversation with a friend about Mary Renault's novels.

Let's start with that conversation. My friend, a gay man in his early thirties,  Read More 
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Words as Rough Sex

I recently watched an old television play, "I Remember Nelson," about the naval hero of the Napoleonic era. The story moved me so much I gave it five stars on Netflix, and was shocked to see how many viewers had given it only one or two. "Boooooring," was the common verdict; too talky.  Read More 
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Bisexual Heroes

I uploaded my fifth Eclipsis story today: Captivity. This is the first work of mine that isn't, in some way, a romance. It is, as best I can describe it, a family drama. But what a family!

If what I've written so far is alternative or unconventional romance, this is definitely alternative,  Read More 
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Oxfordian Snobbery

Many years ago I came across one of the books espousing the "Oxfordian theory," the belief that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, wrote the works attributed to Shakespeare.
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Crying Over Filet Mignon

I live alone, making spaghetti with sauce from a jar tests the limits of my culinary abilities, and I love red meat. So one Thanksgiving I invited just one very good friend over and I served filet mignon.

When I put that first big bite of charred-on-the-outside, oozing-blood-on-the-inside tender beef into my mouth, I almost cried. It was that good.  Read More 
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Beautiful Metaphors, Ugly Memoirs

Colm Toibin, in a review of a biography of E.M. Forster, derided the idea of the "honest novel" (as the biographer, Wendy Moffat, described Forster's Maurice): "novels should not be honest. They are a pack of lies that are also a set of metaphors … they are not forms of self-expression, or true confession."  Read More 
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