Article In The New York Times

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 3:55 pm on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

I’m so happy to have my first piece in The New York Times. I retraced Eugene O’Neill’s footsteps around San Francisco, where he raced to complete his best works before he lost his ability to write.

It ran in the travel section, but you can also read it here.

O'Neill1

oneill2

Article in Longreads: Ghost Writer: The Story of Patience Worth, the Posthumous Writer

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 10:06 am on Friday, October 19, 2018

ghost-writer

I wrote an article for Longreads. Check out Ghost Writer: The Story of Patience Worth, the Posthumous Writer.

One day in 1913, a housewife named Pearl Curran sat down with her friend Emily Grant Hutchings at a Ouija board. Curran’s father had died the year before, and Hutchings was hoping to contact him. While they’d had some success with earlier sessions, Curran had grown tired of the game and had to be coaxed to play. This time, a message came over the board. It said: “Many moons ago I lived. Again I come — Patience Worth my name.”

This moment was the start of a national phenomenon that would turn Curran into a celebrity. Patience Worth, the ghost who’d contacted them, said she was a Puritan who immigrated to America in the late 1600s. Through Curran, she would dictate an astounding 4 million words between 1913 and 1937, including six novels, two poetry collections, several plays, and volumes of witty repartee.

Poetry Foundation: Bohemian Tragedy

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 8:17 am on Monday, March 19, 2018

george-sterling

I wrote an essay for the Poetry Foundation on the poet George Sterling and the Carmel artist colony. It’s a crazy story about artistic utopia, California Bohemians, scandals, affairs, and a suicide pact. Jack London, Upton Sinclair, and HL Mencken were all involved.

Read the essay here.

LA Review Of Books: Ted Hughes’s Play About Marriage

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 7:35 am on Tuesday, October 24, 2017

C5rmwTUUYAA4fH8

I wrote an article for the LA Review of Books on Tight Wires Between Us: On “Difficulties of a Bridegroom” by Ted Hughes. Excerpt:

ON FEBRUARY 9, 1963, two days before the poet Sylvia Plath killed herself, a radio play about her marriage aired on the BBC. Difficulties of a Bridegroom was written by her husband, Ted Hughes, and was about a man rejecting his bride in favor of his mistress. The play aired twice, in January and February, and was heard by all of literary London — including Plath herself.

Ted Hughes as a class act, wasn’t he?

Read about it here.

Smithsonian: Hollywood Loved Sammy Davis Jr Until He Dated a White Movie Star

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 10:10 am on Thursday, August 31, 2017

sammydavis-kimnovak

I wrote an article for The Smithsonian on Sammy Davis Jr. and interracial marriage.

Did you know the mob forced Davis into a sham marriage to a black woman after he was caught dating Kim Novak? Or that his marriage to Swedish actress May Britt was so controversial that JFK uninvited him to the 1960 inauguration? Or that he was friends and a supporter of Martin Luther King Jr.?

Check out Hollywood Loved Sammy Davis Jr Until He Dated a White Movie Star

Here’s Sammy as a little kid, dancing and eating a sandwich:

Article: How Beatrix Potter Invented Character Merchandising

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 10:38 am on Thursday, May 18, 2017

peterrabbitdoll

I have an article in the Smithsonian on how How Beatrix Potter Invented Character Merchandising. Excerpt:

Beatrix Potter is known for her gentle children’s books and beautiful illustrations. But the sweet stories of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and others helped hide a savvy mind for business—and an author who was among the first to realize that her readers could help build a business empire.

Read the rest here.

Article on NPR: Bountiful Beach Buffet: Fresh Seaweed Is Making Waves Among Foragers

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 4:12 pm on Wednesday, January 18, 2017

dsc_0466-56_custom-67ef6a293b322ff7a93e35d826bb394f11fc2c09-s1600-c85

I wrote an article on seaweed foraging for NPR.

Did you know most seaweed is edible? And that it’s a natural thickener? And a source of protein? And MSG? AND that seaweed isn’t even a plant, but algae? Interesting stuff, I tell you.

Check out Bountiful Beach Buffet: Fresh Seaweed Is Making Waves Among Foragers.

Article: Stealing Books in the Age of Self-Publishing in The Atlantic

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 2:56 pm on Monday, June 20, 2016

Hundreds of books in chaotic order

Did you get a chance to check out my latest article for The Atlantic? It’s about the rise of plagiarism among self-published books. Anonymous strangers are stealing other people’s books, changing them superficially, and passing them off as their own work on site like Amazon. Read all about it here.

Smithsonian Article: The Forgotten Dust Bowl Novel That Rivaled The Grapes of Wrath

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 6:20 am on Tuesday, May 24, 2016

sanora-in-the-fields.jpg__800x450_q85_crop_upscale

I’m so excited to announce my first article in The Smithsonian, The Forgotten Dust Bowl Novel That Rivaled The Grapes of Wrath.

It’s about Sanora Babb, who wrote a great Dust Bowl novel called Whose Names Are Unknown the same time John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath. In fact, Babb used much of the same research material as Steinbeck and saw many of the same things. When The Grapes of Wrath came out, Babb’s book was shelved for 65 years. Read the article to find out more!

Facts About I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings In Mental Floss

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — joy at 9:17 am on Friday, March 4, 2016

????????

Check out my most recent Mental Floss post, 11 Facts About I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Maya Angelou was such a fascinating person.

« Previous PageNext Page »