Five Short Stories

A Story of Stolen Salamis My son’s Italian landlord in Brooklyn kept a shed out back in which he cured and smoked salamis. One night, in the midst of a wave of... Read more

I Knew Nothing

Part 1. 'I have at last rejected the notion that I grasp even the basics of life, of society, or the laws of the natural world, the workings of business, or even the grammar of my native language.'
Leopard 5

Give It Up

'I try to guess the book’s big idea and decide, well in advance of criticism or comprehension, whether or not the writing will be rich enough to entertain my friends when they ask, "Read anything good lately?"'

The Fantastications

'Reading made me a traveler; travel sent me back to books. When I got home, I immersed myself in Southern fiction.'

‘It was like a ten-year stag party’

'Maths and numbers and abstraction, these all seem like very un-Irish things; but imagining other worlds, turning reality into a hall of mirrors, these are things we are very good at.'
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A Far Cry From Kensington

‘Can you decide to think? – Yes, you can. You can put your mind to anything most of the time. You can sit peacefully in front of a blank television set, just wa... Read more
Writer Susan Sontag shown Jan. 11, 1964. (AP Photo)

Ideal Husband or Ideal Lover?

Great writers are either husbands or lovers. Some writers supply the solid virtues of a husband: reliability, intelligibility, generosity, decency. There are other writers in whom one prizes the gift of a lover, gifts of temperament rather than moral... Read more

Travels with Paul

I had been fired from my job for a stupid indiscretion and needed to leave town. I packed up my belongings quickly and caught a ride with an acquaintance who wa... Read more