Memory bombs

You never know.

It used to be a happy memory. Read more...

What a bomb my brother dropped!

What a bomb my brother dropped! Just when you think you’ve heard everything...

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That's almost all, folks

Thought I was done. Turns out I’m not.

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How much did you really miss?

Oh, the blessed web! All those once-unanswerable questions that now can be: What would’ve happened if? How badly did I blow it? Thanks to the web, we can now find out.

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How good is Cupid's aim?

Is love random? A beautiful stranger glimpsed across a crowded room, two ships passing in the night? Instead of a bow and arrow, does Cupid shoot a sawed-off six-gauge missing its sight? Read more...

Great oaks from little acorns grow

That actions have consequences is a central theme of Riding the Cyclone, but for many years, in my self-absorbed obliviousness, I had no idea what great oak had grown up right beside me.

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Complicated grief

On Feb 11, 1968, in the midst of his presidential campaign, Robert F. Kennedy came to Putney School, where his daughter was a junior, to speak at our Sunday night meeting.

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Your fondest wish isn't someone else's

If I could have any wish, I’d wish for someone to appear out of the blue, offering me a sheaf of old papers of my mother’s. Coincidentally, I’ve been able to do just that for two strangers recently.

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Mother's Day

If, as Mother’s Day approaches, you’re one of the people not buying a card—well, this one’s for you:

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What a fool I've been

I wrote this memoir in the spirit of a Holocaust survivor: after enduring such an ordeal, the need to bear witness is strong. This happened; the world must know.

It’s not as if I were going to learn anything from writing this book. No, surely after years of therapy, I’ve gleaned all possible lessons. It’s the world that needs educating, not me.

Or so I thought. But then, why was it so hard to write certain stories so that they made sense?

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Dad filmed the maid. A lot.

I don’t remember her, not at all. But boy, does she get screen time!

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Work with what you've got

“I’d like to write my memoirs, too,” an old friend told me. “Trouble is, I don’t remember anything!” Read more...

What is memory? Not just a recording

What is a memory, anyway? Is it like a photo or a video clip? When you remember the day your dad took you to the amusement park and you rode on the toy train, what’s going on inside your head? Read more...

A tragedy, no matter what

The ending was so sad, I couldn’t bear it, so I’d start reading all over again at the beginning: so went the story I told myself for years—and anyone else who listened. Trouble is, the book has a happy ending. Read more...

A bullet I never knew I dodged

Before I wrote this book, I’d had rafts of therapy, hours and hours—some of it actually helpful. And I figured that the past was pretty much dealt with. I conceived of writing this book as a matter of getting it all down, in order (more or less), and then pruning the irrelevant bits.
Boy, was I wrong. Read more...