Tag: slider

  • Find Your Homeland

    Find Your Homeland

    The Spanish word terruño has captured my imagination as of late. It means “homeland,” which, in both languages, has a loving tone to it: one’s native land, the first soil, the place where we began. Of course, if your first soil was pock-marked with cruelty, abuse, neglect, drunkenness, violent parents and predatory uncles, the word […]

  • Art and Madness

    Art and Madness

    There are studies on the connection between the artistic impulse and mental illness. The best are books written by Kay Redfield Jamison, especially her “Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.” In that book, she charts hundreds of writers, from George Gordon Lord Byron to Virginia Woolf, and reveals how the mental illness […]

  • Gracias, México, for Saving My Salvadoran Soul

    Gracias, México, for Saving My Salvadoran Soul

    Once my Uncle Paco–the pain-in-the-ass Salvadoran revolutionary in exile in Mexico–saw how much books meant to me, he backed off. After I shook the novel Cien años de soledad in his face and swore I’d read it until I understood it, I holed up in his guest bedroom and started on the first paragraph, with a […]

  • Emily’s Fly

    Emily’s Fly

    We’re reading Emily Dickinson now, some of her greatest hits (she had tons). Emily was a poet from the 19th century, from Massachusetts, who wrote like, I don’t know, ten billion poems and stuffed them in drawers, cabinets, under her bed; I picture her entire house wallpapered in them. Only a handful were published in […]