Blogs Are Old News (Part 2): Bad News and Good–A Look at the State of Digital Reporting

There are two strains in American print journalism. One is persuasive and opinion-based (like blogs); the other is sourced in fact and offers multiple perspectives (like metropolitan newspapers). In Part One of this series I traced the history of each, then promised to describe the current changes: opinion-based reporting is on the rise, while so-called […]

Blogs Are Old News: A Brief History of American Journalism – Part One

Five years ago, when I taught Journalism, my syllabus was set. We began with a brief discussion of colonial gazettes, then focused on objective news. Until recently I hadn’t connected those two dots – how American news writing evolved from opinionated essays to what is now considered fair and accurate reporting. This connection turns out […]

Evil, Good and Woundedness: A Review of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I was eleven years old – perched at the edge of puberty – and supposed to be having the time of my life. At sleepaway camp the pleasures of summer beckoned: horses, archery, a lake. Yet I was miserable. Slightly homesick, yes, but even more obsessed with a question – Why do bad things happen […]

Revisiting Youth: The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel the roughness of a carpet under smooth soles, a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh. – Doris Lessing In 1976 I was a single mother, aged 26, and […]

A Brief History of the Novel – Part Four

Change. Change. Change. Change … change. Change. Chaaange. When you say words a lot they don’t mean anything. Or maybe they don’t mean anything anyway, and we just think they do. ― Neil Gaiman Late Twentieth Century (1950-2000) – Postmodern In the first three parts of this series I offered a working definition of the novel […]

A Brief History of the Novel – Part Three

In the glad old days, before the rise of modern morbidities…it used to be thought a disadvantage to be misunderstood. ― G.K. Chesterton In the first two parts of this series, I gave a definition for the novel and traced its origins. We examined its evolution from 980 AD to the late 1800s. And along […]

A Brief History of the Novel – Part Two

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.” ― Khaled Hosseini In Part One I defined the novel as a book-length narrative in prose that connects fictional events and characters who evolve. I traced the origins of the novel to 10th century Japan, and from there described […]