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Posts Currently viewing the category: "Other Writing"

“Requiem for a Cowboy Veteran” is a piece I wrote about the extraordinary Ben Steele, whose experiences in the Pacific as a POW during WWII informed that of the character of the father, Michael Gannon, in Shining Sea: “This past September at the age of 98, Ben Steele died in Billings, Montana. The length of…(Read More)

The Wall Street Journal invited me to recommend and write about five books on the legacy of war, for their 5 Best column. After some discussion, I chose novels by John McGahern, Evie Wyld, Patrick Modiano, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Uzodinma Uweala. Amongst Women By John McGahern (1990) 1. The threat of imminent violence hangs over…(Read More)

In an op-ed for TIME for the fourth of July, I wrote about past wars, my family, and the current presidential election. I also shared a photo of my father as a young soldier in Italy during WWII, with his identical twin brother. “How do we as individuals reconcile the war experiences of our…(Read More)

Free Range


“Free Range” tells the true story of a trip I took to Tanzania with my young daughters, bringing an unanticipated peril. It was selected for Best Women’s Travel Writing, Vol 10. “By the last day of our stay in the game reserve, I had relaxed enough to leave the girls to their own devices…(Read More)

“Experience Required: Growing the Roots,” an essay for BLOOM on publishing my first novel after having had children and a career in nonfiction. “My adult life before becoming a published novelist was like the questing roots that grow wide and far to suck in the moisture and minerals that make the apple tree’s limbs…(Read More)

“Finding an Audience Abroad: Who’s Read in France,” an article for The Millions: “Most literary novelists feel relatively confident they can sell copies of their newly published book to their parents, probably to their siblings, maybe (if they haven’t sparred to often over loud music, lawnmowers, or leaf blowers) to their neighbors… But…(Read More)

Book Notes


“Book Notes,” a playlist for Largehearted Boy: “From 1997 to 2007, we lived in the small city of Strasbourg in eastern France… During those ten years, I did several notable things: I, with my husband, brought our two daughters through infancy; I began my debut novel, An Unexpected Guest; and I learned to listen to…(Read More)

“Word Craft: Learning to Speak in Tongues” – an essay for the Wall Street Journal, 03/24/12, on different methods for handling foreign language in fiction: “[U]sing foreign words is a slippery slope. Creating a sense of place is one thing, but you don’t want to drive readers crazy with incomprehensible phrases or…(Read More)



In the short story, “Ilunga,” a Paris-based female war correspondent agrees to adopt a little boy in the Democratic Republic of Congo after his mother begs her to “save” him. But their life together turns out differently than she expected. “Every morning the nine-year-old girl would lead her baby brother to the…(Read More)

Folding Paper


“Folding Paper” tells the story of Marine, a struggling American expatriate in Paris, who races to catch the fast train to Geneva every weekend to meet handsome Dutch-born Frederic, although he is not very nice to her. One Friday, she finds herself seated next to an elderly couple who offer her a surprising gift…(Read More)

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Book Giveaway!

Twenty-five copies of the paperback edition of Shining Sea, before it comes out on August 8, are up for…

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