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Reckonings

Unhappiness Is . . .

by Jo Page March 22, 2012

A word about unhappiness. First and foremost, of course, we’re not supposed to talk about it. I mean, you can if some unforeseen or protracted tragedy strikes and it is safe to verbalize your fears and ...

Let Me Tell You a Story

by Jo Page March 8, 2012

I’ve always been intrigued by the process of making, hearing, charting and evaluating stories. Because stories aren’t just one kind of thing. They are many kinds of things. There are true stories, short stories, fabrications, misrepresentations, ...

The Inkwell of Loneliness

by Jo Page February 22, 2012

I realize it’s Britainand they do things differently over there, but I found myself intrigued by a piece from The Guardian in which the author Teju Cole (Open City) selects his Top Ten novels of ...

Pop Quiz

by Jo Page February 9, 2012

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  Every year, late January, I buy a desk calendar in which I record the names of agents I query, journals I send stuff off to over the next twelve months. To be perfectly honest, it ...

The House That I Live In

by Jo Page January 25, 2012

  I’m always house-hunting. I don’t remember the exact number, but I’ve lived at more than thirty different addresses, including an apartment on York Street in Denver whose address was 1234. Our phone number was 0123. Locations ...

The Doctor is Real In

by Jo Page January 12, 2012

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I have just finished watching, over the course of a week, the 2005 season of Dr. Who. I  didn’t do this voluntarily, of course. At least, not at first. I was cajoled, coerced and cornered ...

Wonderful Christmastime

by Jo Page December 14, 2011

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  All these people who try new things at Christmas? I don’t get it. ’Tis just not the season. Christmas is not the time for innovation. It’s the time for repetition. Doing things the same old way ...

Seductive Shopping

by Jo Page November 30, 2011

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  Last December I was living in the small seaside town of Rockport, Mass., where Santa arrives by Coast Guard boat and is transported down Bearskin Neck in a vintage fire truck so he can light ...

Our Own Worst Enemy

by Jo Page November 22, 2011

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In Colson Whitehead’s new novel, Zone One, main character Mark Spitz is one of an armed team of “sweepers” tasked with taking out any stragglers found in lower Manhattan south of Canal Street: Zone One. ...

Letting Go

by Jo Page November 2, 2011

  I started reading Joan Didion’s book, A Year of Magical Thinking, out of a blend of fear, horror and a voyeurism I didn’t like in myself. In it she details the sudden death of her ...

Who Are You?

by Jo Page September 21, 2011

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  I looked at my Inbox this morning and I saw the subject: An Explanation and Some Reflections. I looked at the sender’s name: Reed Hastings. Who the hell is Reed Hastings and why is he ...

Unplugged

by Jo Page August 24, 2011

  I spent a day without Wi-Fi today, working in someone else’s office. It was hard. I was writing a column and I kept having to actually pay attention to what I was doing rather than ...

Dog Days

by Jo Page August 10, 2011

  I am not one to complain about summer. We get so little of it that I took a vow, some years back, never to bemoan the heat, the humidity, the roadwork, etc. Instead, I allow ...

Three’s Company?

by Jo Page July 27, 2011

Mark Oppenheimer’s piece, “Married, with Infidelities,” in the July 25 edition of The New York Times Magazine, was a timely and thoughtful exploration of Dan Savage’s take on how marriages can be strengthened and extended ...

Marriage for All

by Jo Page June 29, 2011

A friend who knew I’d performed some same-sex union ceremonies well before my denomination had permitted such things advised me to “hang out my shingle” once the gay marriage bill had been passed in New ...

Through the Past, Darkly

by Jo Page June 15, 2011

For the past few months I have been writing about a character who has intermittent bouts of clinical—and untreated—depression. His coping mechanism is to obsess about World War II and specifically, the last months of ...

Looking Back

by Jo Page May 19, 2011

We were 23, in love, flat-broke vagabonds who’d wandered into Aberdeen, Wash., lumber country right on the Pacific. We were looking for jobs doing anything we could, not realizing the deep recession had hit the ...

In Search of Our Better Selves

by Jo Page May 4, 2011

During NPR’s special coverage of the Bin Laden killing, a reporter spoke to the father of one of the 9/11 victims. The reporter wanted to know if he was pleased that Bin Laden had been ...

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Supper’s Ready

by Jo Page April 20, 2011

People ask me: Why do you write about food, and eating and drinking? Why don’t you write about the struggle for power and security, and about love, the way others do? The easiest answer is to ...

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Though April Showers May Come Your Way

by Jo Page April 6, 2011

  The rain is raining all around It falls on field and trees It rains on the umbrellas here And on the ships at sea. --Robert Louis Stevenson   Turns out I know a lot of rain poems. Why is this? Is there ...

Enjoy the Silence

by Jo Page March 23, 2011

If there is anything missing in the vitriolic debates about the relative worth/worthlessness of religion, it’s the question of the ineffable. Thomas Aquinas, after a life in spent crafting his Summa Theologica in which he aimed ...

Give Faith a Chance

by Jo Page March 9, 2011

Part of the reason that I gave up reading the cadre of New Atheists self-styled as the Four Horsemen—Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins—was that, charges of arrogance aside, they seemed to ...

Children Lost and Found

by Jo Page February 23, 2011

The fallout from the appallingly self-serving memoir, The Battle Hymn of Tiger Mother, has been considerable. And it must have given its author, Amy Chua, exactly what she hoped for: notoriety, exposure, controversy, sales and ...

Hibernation 101

by Jo Page January 26, 2011

I don’t know how they do it in Maine or Minnesota or Wisconsin. I don’t know how the people who live in Chicago do it. Deal with winter, that is. I made an ill-timed visit to ...

Salt in the World

by Jo Page January 12, 2011

Evelyn Salt is an uber patriot, I thought, watching the eponymous film the other night. She is such a patriot that she will kill and kill and kick and kill some more. Such a patriot ...