A Selection of Essays

Bill + Monica + 20 Years = #MeTooAF, Salmagundi, No. 204-205. Fall 2019. “It’s easy to carp and criticize, to tweet and retweet the scandals and outrages of the day. In all this high emotion, let’s not lose sight of the goodness and beauty in our midst, the bright moments in the darkest hours. As we pause on the 20th anniversary of the impeachment of Bill Clinton…”

“Do You Come Here Often?” Kitchen Work, Issue 2, Winter 2017. “In a long career of writing just about anything for money, I was once hired to ghostwrite the recollections of Senator Ted Kennedy’s personal chef in Hyannis for a coffee table cookbook. The chef had an illustrious collection of stories involving cooking for the Kennedys, but he was a better cook than a raconteur. It was my job to translate his star-studded tales into heartwarming, high gloss anecdotes that were layered into the book between recipes and color photos of the food and the family.” Notable Essay, BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2018.

Scandal Mad and Boy Crazy, Salmagundi, Summer-Fall 2017. “Into each life a little dreck must fall. Or, in the case of Scandal, a torrent, a waterfall, unless I exercise extreme caution and keep it out of the house entirely, which means keeping my trigger finger from typing ‘Netflix.com’ on my laptop’s browser, and then clicking on the Scandal logo….”

The Diary Thief Real Simple, August 2015. “An ordinary moment in a 13-year-old girl’s life: unpacking a trunk on returning from summer camp. I’m in our Manhattan apartment with my parents and sister, sifting through a season of clothes, when something goes awry….” 

What We Talk About When We Talk about Money Salmagundi, Spring 2015. “In this corner is my kindly grandfather, who liked to say, when the subject of our not having enough came up, “It’s just money.” In the opposite corner, a different message from my mother, who longed for so much: “All you need is money….”  Notable NonFiction, Pushcart Prize XLI 2017

Mentors, Muses & Monsters, Tin House, March 1, 2012. “This is my belated Valentine to Tin House and its editors, for doing so much to bring into the world Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives. The anthology changed the lives of many of the contributors and, from what I hear, of many readers. And it’s just been published in paperback, after a long trek from life between hard covers.”

Murder One: Mad Dog Taborsky and Me, Daedalus, Summer 2008. “The city’s celebrities had little in common but a taste for the westbound train. Katherine Hepburn left in 1928. Mark Twain came for twenty-one years and departed. Harriet Beecher Stowe came and went several times….” Notable Essay. Best America Essays 2009.

What I Learned About Sex on the Internet
Daedalus, Spring 2007 Read the essay in the magazine with an account here.

A Friendship Born in the Turbulent Age of Aquarius
The New York Times, January 17, 2006

Getting Naked in Print–The Art of the Highbrown Confessional
The American Prospect, March 1, 2004

Past Perfect Massachusetts
These United States: Original Essays by Leading American Writers on Their State Within the Union, edited by John Leonard (2003)

Searching for Treasure in Las Vegas
Salmagundi, Spring/Summer 2000, Nos. 126-127

When Baby Boomers Grow Old
The American Prospect vol. 12 no. 9, May 21, 2001.

Divorced White Journalist Seeks Love, Alimony Funds
A review of Falling: The Story of One Marriage, by John Taylor.
The New York Observer, March 8, 1999

In the Literature of Addiction, Life’s Always a Gamble
Boston Globe, June 27th, 1999

He treats life as fragile, to be handled with care
A review of A Sport and a Pastime and Light Years, by James Salter
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb 2, 1986

Still the Babysitter, After All These Years
Barnard Magazine, Spring 2000