Category Literature

My Sumo Library

I anticipate a chorus of agreement when I say that no library is complete without a generous portfolio of books on sumo. In 1995, when I still had hair for a ponytail, I found myself on the streets of Tokyo with my nephew, Sean, who said, “Don’t worry about what you do. They think you’re […]

Charles Dickens in New York

Famed English author Charles Dickens was a nineteenth century rock star, packing houses everywhere he went, reading aloud from his works to adoring audiences. Such tours were Dickens’ only way to make money in the United States as publishers here pirated his work, paid him no royalties, and there was no law with which he […]

A Bus Ride with Virginia Woolf

July 9, 1998 Yesterday, I was the only person in the Syracuse bus station reading Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. I’ve been trying to finish it for 20 years, but it’s so beautifully written that I stop to marvel at sentences, read them aloud to whoever will listen, drift off in my own reveries inspired by […]

Harry Potter and the National Debt

October 5, 2003 I always have a number of books on the “to be read” stack, but this summer, my reading list came to resemble a log jam. Here I was with two P.G. Wodehouse Blandings Castle novels (as I strive to relive the moment when Lord Emsworth falls down the stairs); a Leila Hadley […]