Writ Large

For a couple years, my Baube was the best large print books library patron in Western Washington. Books took flight from locations all across King County and converged at Bellevue’s Lake Hills branch for retrieval by my father. Baube is Yiddish for grandmother, and Yiddish, as for other Jewish people of a certain age, is […]

Fried Neck Bones and Some Home Fries: Delectable History through Southern Regional Food

About this time, the editor, who is spending a total of three weeks in Morocco, is probably sick and tired of Moroccan food and is yearning, yes, licking her lips over the prospect of returning home to the South and eating a great big bowl of grits. Seems like a good time to revisit this […]

The Most Translated Writer You’ve Never Read: Stefan Zweig and His Austria

Before I travel, I like to immerse myself in some of the culture of the place. Soon to embark on a trip to Central Europe, I’ve been watching foreign films and discovering the work of authors I’ve never read. One of these authors is Stefan Zweig, prolific writer and especially master of the art of […]

Borough-ing for Food: A Brief Review of Food and the City

Ina Yalof’s new book, Food and the City: New York’s Professional Chefs, Restaurateurs, Line Cooks, Street Vendors, and Purveyors Talk About What They Do and Why They Do It, is due out May 31, 2016. The book, essentially a collection of oral histories, is divided into nine sections, each dealing with a different aspect of […]

“Are You Ready for the Country?”: Nashville in All Its Songwriting Glory

Some cities have a unique way of relating to the world around them. They have a hum, a certain lifeblood, a raison d’etre, if you will. Washington, D.C. runs on politics. In Los Angeles, that hum is the entertainment industry, referred to simply as “the industry.” Even ordinary folks know what’s playing at the NuArt, […]

“The More Mysterious Life”: Jewish High Holiday liturgy, Leonard Cohen songs, and Geraldine Brooks’ new novel

As summer turns to fall, the season rolls into a celebration of Jewish holidays, one stacked upon another. This week is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and it begins a ten day period known as the days of repentance. A traditional prayer, the Unetaneh Tokef, said during both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, acknowledges […]

One Sentence at a Time: A Brief Review of Prison Writings

In the film adaptation of Michael Chabon’s book Wonder Boys, a creative writing professor quips about a budding student of his who has just been taken into police custody: “Between you and Officer Krupke, he can be the next Jean Genet. It’s been a long time since someone wrote a really good book in jail.” […]