AWP 18: Palm Trees and Bay Walks, Compassion and Identity

Publishers Weekly
March 14, 2018

“Do we need to apply compassion to our political enemies?” author George Saunders asked during his keynote note address at the 2018 Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference held in Tampa, Fla., March 7-10.

'Paris Review' Revels at Cipriani's

Publishers Weekly
April 6, 2017

“We need the arts now more than ever,” said Paris Review editor Lorin Stein. “And these days I want the unexpected, the new, the next.”

Father Shares, and Looks Up to, Son's Love of Hockey

The New York Times
Sunday, June 15, 2013

I had wanted to play hockey since I was 14 and saw Guy Lafleur score a hat trick at the Forum while I was visiting relatives in Montreal. But I lived in Florida. The best I could do was fool around with a hockey stick and a tennis ball as I roller-skated up and down our suburban cul-de-sac near St. Petersburg, with a taped rectangle against the garage door as my net.

More than 30 years later, my 7-year-old son, Sam, has the hockey bug. Sam, whom my wife and I adopted as an infant, has a wiry, muscular frame, and he cuts through the ice with grace and confidence. In three years, he went from a tumbling beginner to a confident boy who can execute crossovers skating backward.

It's A Wonderful (Italian-American) Life

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We think of It's a Wonderful Life as a great American movie, a great Jimmy Stewart movie, a great Frank Capra movie — and, of course, as a great Christmas movie. We don't think of it as a great Italian-American movie.

Is The Situation a Renaissance Man?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In the new season of “Jersey Shore,” which starts tonight, we have the cast of the show living in Florence, Italy—the motherland of that great cultural movement known as the Renaissance, the very birthplace of modern culture (though not, of course, the birthplace of reality TV). The possibilities for chaos, train wrecks and cultural absurdities, as the creators of the MTV show know, are endless.

On My Nightstand

Sunday, January 08, 2006

What have you been reading?
I'm teaching a course on creative nonfiction at Lehman College in the Bronx. I wanted my students to read the great old "New Journalists" from the 1960s, so I'm having them read "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" by Joan Didion. Over the last few years, I have fallen in love with Los Angeles, so it's wonderful to read Didion's writing on the city. Her prose is spare and brilliant. She talks around subjects before she eventually gets to them. What got me was that Didion writes in vignettes, little stories that add up to one larger piece.

Our House's Heart Transplant

The New York Times
November 20, 2005

THOSE of us who live in the Northeast are already painfully aware of how expensive it's going to be to keep warm this winter. With heating-oil prices rising over the past couple of years, people gambled and converted to gas; now, with natural-gas prices expected to surge, it all seems to be about the same. Perhaps the only difference is the efficiency of the heating system itself -- and, in older homes, the boiler.

Maggie's Wonderful Saloon

The New York Times
November 20, 2005

I USUALLY don't like to make blanket comparisons of cozy neighborhoods to Frank Capra's ''It's a Wonderful Life'' -- especially around the holidays. And my guess is that those who have never visited downtown Jersey City would conjure images that are far from a typical idyllic village, let alone anything remotely similar to George Bailey's Bedford Falls. But, perhaps especially because Jersey City doesn't normally inspire such sentiments, a place like the Hamilton Park Ale House seems that much more magical.

The Making of a Football Icon

The New York Sun
September 8, 2004

Just a few blocks south and west of last week's Republican National Convention is the proposed site of the new stadium for the New York Jets. In the franchise's 30-plus year history, this would be the first stadium they could call their own (from 1964 until 1984 they played at Shea; since then, they've moved to Giants stadium in New Jersey). To help quell the controversy over a potential deal between the team and city, the Jets have turned again to the one proven winner in an often losing history: Joe Namath.