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Starred Kirkus Review

Ancestor Trouble received a starred review from Kirkus! “The current wave of interest in genealogy, heredity, family history, and responsibility for past injustices crescendos in a comprehensive work combining personal narrative and reporting,” the reviewer says. “Exhaustively researched, engagingly presented, and glowing with intelligence and honesty.” ⭐️ 

This part made me laugh out loud in recognition: “These ruptures seeded a project that grew like a fairy-tale beanstalk, which the author climbs with unflagging energy.” Also, the “rather surprising chapter.”

Even if the subject isn’t your thing, Ancestor Trouble would make a good preordered gift for anyone who pores over old census records, ponders family patterns and harms, wonders about epigenetics, and is open to psychological and/or spiritual ways of approaching ancestors. It’s out in March.



When the Venue I Want is a Blog

Next June will mark twenty years since I first blogged, on a Blogspot site, on impulse. That day I figured I’d tire of the blog, that it would quickly become one of my many abandoned writing practices.

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Some Fantasies, Anxieties, & Poetry

The days are growing shorter, the trees on the land across the way will soon shed the last of their leaves, and I have been reading the poems of W.S. Merwin and the fiction of Lauren Groff, and teaching myself how to write essays again.

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Praise from Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Dani Shapiro

Over the years I worked on Ancestor Trouble, All Hallows’ Eve and Samhain became important to me. As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween, on the theory that it was demonic, so developing a tenderness and receptivity to what this time of year probably meant to my ancestors centuries ago took a long time. I’m filled with particular . . .

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