Blog

The Truth Will Set You Free

I don’t ordinarily link to my newsletters here nowadays, but I’m making an exception for the latest, “The Truth Will Set You Free.” It’s about how wrestling with wrongs of my ancestors, rather than being a miserly, judgmental, closed-off process, has been an incredible opening. I’m also giving away an advance copy of Ancestor Trouble. And there are some good links . . .

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Remembering Terry Teachout

My friend Terry Teachout, a theater and arts critic, a biographer, playwright, and librettist in his own right, first known to me as a blogger, died suddenly last week. I’ve struggled to express what what a shock and loss his absence is. Terry loved to laugh and was a delight to laugh with. He loathed pretension. He enjoyed wit. When . . .

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Brevity, Earnest Back-and-Forth

I don’t idealize the blog era, but I do miss a few things about it. One is the inherent flexibility of the form. A blog allows for brevity (merciful brevity). When no extra words are needed, there’s no mandate to stretch an idea to fill a slot. On the other hand, if someone needs to say 10,000 words on a . . .

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A Place to Take Refuge

As a child, I wasn’t allowed to watch much television. Books were my main source of entertainment—and a relief and distraction from the conflict around me. I was embarrassed that I didn’t understand my friends’ conversations about the shows they watched, though I tried to pretend I did and I caught glimpses at their houses whenever I could. I often . . .

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