I lost my temper the other day. I used a couple of bad words in public. I have apologized, but the incident has troubled me since. In the past, I have managed to keep my cool under extremely trying circumstances, and to make reasoned responses to completely unreasonable, even deeply offensive people. Once in [...]



I began writing fiction in 1990 when I was hired to teach English at Seaside High School. I believed myself wholly unqualified to teach English (and others have agreed), but I had taught art in an elite prep school for three years, picked up a Social Studies endorsement through exam, and substituted in the Seaside [...]


Last fall, I read the memoir Hillbilly Elegy and I struggled with its view of poverty. The man suffered, but suffering does not necessarily make us wise. I both recognized that he was reporting his personal experience, and felt concerned that his view of his own life was limited by his selfish political point of view. This [...]