My monthly musings will continue, but will migrate to the website of my new bookstore, Gramercy Books. Find it here: www.gramercybooksbexley.com

The Holocaust on Trial: A Legal Battle for Historical Truth

The Holocaust on Trial: A Legal Battle for Historical Truth

In the film “Denial,” based on a true story, college history professor and author Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) is sued for libel by notorious British Holocaust historian David Irving (Timothy Spall) for accusing him of being a Holocaust denier in her 1993 book, Denying The Holocaust. But the case turns into a battle for historical… Continue Reading

A Book Club Feast with Billy Collins and William Maxwell

A Book Club Feast with Billy Collins and William Maxwell

Five years ago I talked my book club into bringing two masters of language to our ritual readers’ gathering. We were in our early years then as a reading group of 12, democratically selecting the novels we’d discuss each month. The suggestions my fellow bookies offered for that first year covered a wide range of styles, from Emma Donoghue’s… Continue Reading

Wandering and wondering through ‘Diane Arbus: In the Beginning’ at the Met

Wandering and wondering through ‘Diane Arbus: In the Beginning’ at the Met

The late photographer Diane Arbus, whose work and life have been the subject of multiple biographies (the most recent being Arthur Lubow’s Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer), is now being featured in an exhibit at the Met Breuer, the contemporary arm of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. There, some eighty… Continue Reading

‘A Book in Concert’: Carpe Diem String Quartet’s Music To My Words

‘A Book in Concert’: Carpe Diem String Quartet’s Music To My Words

Not many authors have a musical event integrated into their book debuts. I count myself incredibly fortunate to have created one art form that inspired another: “A Book in Concert.” On May 20, 21 and 22, I had the unique opportunity to join an internationally acclaimed string quartet at the world premiere of “A Book… Continue Reading

Composing a Novel in Song: An Interview with Violinist Charles Wetherbee

Note from the author: Charles Wetherbee and the entire Carpe Diem String Quartet joined me May 20-22, 2016 for a “Book In Concert” at the McConnell Arts Center of Worthington, Ohio.  Violinist Charles Wetherbee recently composed “Tasa’s Song,” based on my novel of the same name. “I am thinking of the violin line as Tasa’s voice as she… Continue Reading

National Poetry Month: Mickiewicz, Akhmatova, Pushkin featured in TASA’S SONG

April’s arrival of National Poetry Month got me thinking about the role poetry plays in my upcoming novel, Tasa’s Song, a story about an aspiring Jewish violinist living in eastern Poland during World War II. Woven into the narrative are the melodies of Tchaikovsky, Paganini, Sarasate, Smetana, Mozart, Chopin, Strauss Jr. and others. Music transports… Continue Reading

Why I Love Beethoven’s Fifth

Note: March is a key month in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven. In March of 1778, at the age of eight, Beethoven had his very first public performance. In March of 1783, at age thirteen, he wrote his first composition; and in March of 1795, at twenty-five, he gave his first public performance in… Continue Reading