In Praise of Shitholes

Consider the shithole: In the anal of a caveIt does not envy the hand for being the hand, it does not envy the feet for their gift of movement, it does not strike against other body parts, but in humility and pride carries on its duty without complaint, aiding bodily functions, enabling the health… Read more

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Sacred Delight or Eating Husbands

I’m at home past lunch hour. The adults are fed, the children are watching TV in the sitting room. I have a moment to myself, so I decide to sit outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun.I see a praying mantis resting on the fender of the car, then another joins. This is what happens: The holy… Read more

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End of the semester, near end of year and the many endings of things, which also imply beginnings and the substance of gathering.

Let me start from the middle.It was in San Francisco in July this year that I experienced life profoundly during a visit to the Minnesota Street Project, housed in three warehouses in Dogpatch district. The warehouses themselves, while they looked newly refurbished, still “betrayed” an air of… Read more

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George Saunders’ Endearing Fox 8, Postmodernism Fiction, Italo Calvino’s Lightness, Propositions, and so on.

I have been teaching a lot of foxes this semesterand murder.I should say that by now I shouldn’t really be surprised how my workshop classes end up experimenting with murder, mystery and light-heartedness, yet still, I’m often amazed by how much beauty and brokenness emerges from the stories we… Read more

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California Summer 2017

30 days on a houseboat in Sausalito, California        Sunrise over my windowThe word that sums up my time is Immersion, not just my work but everything around me.A few days after I arrive, I’m all in, a sweet spot to be. Wide windows bring in light, beauty and joy. I’m wrapped in light as… Read more

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Announcing two Readings: Sausalito Library and Adobe Books, CA.

Friends and book lovers, I’m wrapping up my one-month residence in California with two readings: One at Sausalito Library (Wednesday June 28 at 7pm) and the second at Adobe Books in San Francisco (Thursday June 29 at 7 pm). See the details below. It will be my pleasure to have your presence…. Read more

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Power to the alternate memory of history

Do Not Say We Have Nothing, is the most ambitious novel I’ve so far read this year. Madeleine Thien’s 2016 Man Booker finalist is not only ambitious in its narrative structure but also in its memorialization and retelling of the Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong’s communist regime. Lovers of fat… Read more

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I’m not Whining, I’m just sayin’ it’s the illusion of competence

In all my blogging years, this, I think is the first blog post I’m writing from a teaching perspective. I’ll make it short. I’ve always preferred to blog as a writer, reader, book reviewer, and so on, but strange events  over the past few days have made me reflect on my work as a teaching… Read more

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Remind Me of What We Have

Today is the last day of class and it coincides with the passing on of my father. Exactly one year. I’m filled with warmth and gratitude for all the love and comforting presences of my friends and family. There’s this phrase playing in my head again and again: Remind me of what we have. I find… Read more

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Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad Invites Us to Commune with the Past

This book will break your heart            then mend it                       and break it again.The history of slavery is a loaded cannon but Colson softens the blow without diminishing the cruel realities of that era by converting the metaphor of the “underground railroad”… Read more

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