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Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge

Nearly a century apart Sherwood Anderson and Elizabeth Strout created unique modes of storytelling where one character’s deepest heartache or greatest failure is but a footnote in the life of another.

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Gene Fowler

Gene Fowler

Gene Fowler is a raconteur of the Old School, rooted in the rough-and-tumble world of reporters, men who bellied up to the bar, wrapped their ink-stained fingers around the bottle, and told each other mostly true stories.

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The Club

The Club

The Club, above all, expands on the famous Samuel Johnson quip: “He who is tired of London, is tired of life!” The thump and bustle of 18th century London throbs in these pages.

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West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan

West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan

Each time I return to FSF’s novels, his stories, his letters and essays I am saddened, even touched by the talents he squandered. If only….. hangs over the last dozen years of his short life. In some ways I marvel at what he did accomplish, given the self-destruction everywhere apparent.

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Resurrected Women: Barbara Pym

Resurrected Women: Barbara Pym

Perhaps this moment, now, when all our lives are sequestered, made small, compact, cloistered, perhaps this is the moment to return to Barbara Pym: savor your small pleasures.

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Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

When I first read Jane Eyre, perhaps at age twelve or thirteen, I was intolerable for months. Southern California was very short on wild moors, and I longed for them.

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Memoir in a Jar

Memoir in a Jar

I opened the back door and walked into a house that was cold, dark, empty, and worst of all, silent. I had just returned from taking my youngest son to university 1300 miles away where he joined his brother. The day your child leaves home  is every bit as momentous as...

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We Need to Gather: November 9th, 2016

We Need to Gather: November 9th, 2016

The phone kept pinging in the night, text after text, for the most part, as I glanced at them, numbers without names. I tried to sleep through them. I tried to sleep at all. I didn’t want to wake up to a world where Donald Trump would be the President of the United States.

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Centennial Memoir

Centennial Memoir

Every family has a few cherished stories about how they came to be who they are, anecdotes of some ancestor, someone clever or determined, someone lucky, or fated or foolhardy. Certainly every Armenian family has a story about how they survived the 1915 genocide.

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The Adventures of Robin Hood

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Robin stole from the rich, despised the greedy plutocrats, and in acts of social justice, gave to the poor, the hungry. As a child in Southern California, I knew nothing of class struggle, but I was all on the side of Robin and his Merry Men.

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High Noon

High Noon

I never tire of watching High Noon. Unlike most films from the 1950’s, it seems to me clean, sleek. The tensions are perfectly paced, the music (and the classic song Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin’) lope along until they too escalate with the action. The intricate relationships of the characters play across the screen with understated grace and intensity.

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The MG

The MG

If there is some glorious afterlife where one relives moments of tremendous earthly happiness, then for me, one of those would be me driving a vintage MG convertible, zipping along on a narrow road, Pacific Ocean on one side, dry California hills on the other, music blaring. I am wearing sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.

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Trumbo: The Blacklist portrayed in film

Trumbo: The Blacklist portrayed in film

You can see Trumbo at the Pickford–one night only–May 2nd at 6 PM. I will introduce the film and talk about its connections to my novel. Your ticket also entitles you to a glass of champagne in a nod to old Hollywood glamour. Hope to see you there.

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This One’s for the Writers!

This One’s for the Writers!

You’ve written “The End.”  Bravo.  Celebrate! Buy champagne, dance in the streets! But inevitably after that glorious moment, you drag yourself to your desk, open a new folder called Version 2, or Revision, or New Draft. Whatever.  You’re thinking: oh shit, here we go again.

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Cyrano de Bergerac and The Great Pretenders

Cyrano de Bergerac and The Great Pretenders

Cyrano de Bergerac—brilliant wit, exquisite poet, undefeated cavalier—is unredeemably ugly. His nose, a giant, disfiguring schnoz, renders him unfit to play the lover to any woman, much less the lovely Roxanne. She is in love with the handsome soldier, Christian. To help his tongue-tied rival win Roxanne’s love, Cyrano speaks his own words, immortal protestations of love. beneath her balcony. She believes Christian is speaking to her from his heart, and replies rapturously. The young couple elopes. Then it all goes to hell.

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Panache

Panache

Panache is one of my favorite words. To me panache evokes an individual who sparkles in company, who displays generosity of spirit and confidence they have earned.

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