Queens College Commencement Speech 2007Tuesday, May 1, 2007
This speech was delivered at Queens College in 2007. – Queens College
The Inspiration for Any Place I Hang My HatWednesday, Feb 28, 2007
As novelists tell you any chance we get, writing is a lonely profession. What we do for a living is sit alone in a room and tell ourselves stories. But how did this particular story, Any Place I Hang My Hat, come to be? A couple of months after I’d finished my last novel, I still hadn’t a clue about what to write next. All I sensed was that a woman on the verge of thirty was demanding I tell her story.
How a Political Speechwriter Dumped the Pols, Fled the Office, and Found Honest WorkSunday, Sep 26, 2004
“The Writing Life: How a political speechwriter dumped the pols, fled the office and found honest work” originally appeared in The Washington Post on September 26, 2004. – The Washington Post
The Inspiration for After All These YearsTuesday, Feb 3, 2004
Easy to tell. I heard that one of my neighbors, a really nice woman, was heartbroken. It was the old but always heartbreaking story: her husband supposedly “outgrew” her, or at least grew tired of her, and left her for a younger woman. I’d always thought of this man as second-rate and pretentious, never a winning combo in my book. My response to the acquaintance who told me what was going on was, “Wouldn’t you just love to kill him?
Bottom Line: It’s About PoliticsThursday, Dec 21, 2000
“Bottom Line: It’s About Politics” originally appeared in _Newsday _on December 21, 2000. – Newsday
Deep Inside Republican Land, Smiles of a Summer’s NightFriday, Oct 6, 2000
“Deep Inside Republican Land, Smiles of a Summer’s Night” originally appeared in Newsday on August 6, 2000. – Newsday
The Inspiration for Almost ParadiseTuesday, Oct 3, 2000
I had my characters. Nick and Jane, two Wasps. They’d meet in their senior year at Brown. He would be part of an upper-class Manhattan clan, she from a more modest family in Cincinnati, albeit just as dysfunctional, though in a different way. Definitely not from my turf. What was I doing with them, and at an Ivy League college? Wasn’t it the opposite of what writers ought to do? What ever happened to Write about what you know?
Party, Party, Money, Money, Day, NightSunday, Aug 20, 2000
“Party, Party, Money, Money, Day, Night” originally appeared in _Newsday _on August 20, 2000. – Newsday
The Inspiration for Shining ThroughMonday, Jul 3, 2000
Shining Through takes place in the early 1940s. Except for the family history in Almost Paradise, all my earlier books were set in contemporary times. Linda Voss, a legal secretary and protagonist of this novel, came to me almost as I typed the final page of my third book, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with her until I put her into that dangerous, compelling era. When you grow up in Brooklyn — I guess the same is true for Iowa — you look for significance in your life.
Bush’s Way: All Tactics, No SubstanceMonday, Mar 6, 2000
“Bush’s Way: All Tactics, No Substance” originally appeared in Newsday on March 6, 2000. – Newsday