Hope, Courage, and Feminism in The Portrait of a Lady

I’m not a big fan of Henry James (1843-1916), pictured below. I’ve dutifully read him for class assignments, but never for pleasure until last fall. My favorite professor, whom I still see often because we teach at the same university, recommended that I read James’s The Portrait of a Lady (1881). He was reading it... Continue Reading →

Anne of Green Gables: Finding a Family and Romance

I showed my students the BBC book list.  One of them immediately zeroed in on Anne of Green Gables (#46 on the list and published in 1908) and said, “I’m not sure why this is on the list.  I watched it, and it’s not very good.  I don’t understand why people like it.”  He (yes,... Continue Reading →

How to Train Your . . . White Whale?

My only in-person experience with white whales occurred at Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when a male beluga whale aggressively chased the female whale in the tank, alternately poking out and pulling in his male member.  I know, pretty gross.  Watching the birds and the bees in action was memorable and fascinating to... Continue Reading →

Death Changes Mrs. Dalloway and Us

The first time my sister Haley received an invitation for a sleepover, it was to her best friend Martha’s house.  Such an invitation is exciting and a celebrated first experience away from home.  However, Martha lived in a mortuary.  Her father was a mortician, whose residence was attached to his place of work and business. ... Continue Reading →

Shakespeare: Don’t Be Afraid

We always laugh when my husband notices a mistake in a text before I do.  But he noticed an inconsistency with the BBC book list when I didn't.  The Complete Works of Shakespeare is listed as number 14, and Hamlet (obviously one of Shakespeare’s “complete works”) is listed as number 98.  As an editor, I... Continue Reading →

Do You Leap Out of Bed in the Morning?

I recently watched the adorable movie Julie and Julia with the incomparable Meryl Streep and the impossibly cute Amy Adams.  Yes, the movie is about blogging (and cooking), but that’s not my point.  There is a scene in which Julia Child is writing to a friend, and she describes herself leaping out of bed every... Continue Reading →

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑