unSATISFIED CUSTOMER

The order. "Years and years and years ago" when Mom was still live, I did what my mother had done and decided on solid black, spindleback wood chairs for her old dining table she'd given me. I wanted four chairs, and bought cheap, unfinished chairs and stained and lacquered them matt black. They are currently [...]

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PASSING

There is a novel by Nella Larson called Passing, which includes racial passing by a character. There are other sorts of passing. Passing by, passing judgement, passing the mashed potatoes. A running dog passing another is called a go-by and it's a good thing. Passing over, we die. Years pass too, time passes. But not [...]

EMBRACING THE CRONE

Ursula K. Le Guin once talked about embracing that word, "crone" as an honorific. For most, it is pejorative, inherently agist and sexist, but Ursula argued for a different take. The crone has experience and perspective, intelligence and awareness. The crone is old because she has lived long and prospered. She has earned respect, even [...]

VIOLATION

  The rape scene is explicit. I taught The Bluest Eye for 25 years. It is an extraordinary novel told from multiple perspectives. A little girl is ruined, driven insane and lost. The language is stunning, beautiful, masterful. I introduced the novel with an early event where a narrator describes being sick and feeling her [...]