Author Archive

Why I Reread “Paper Lantern”

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Every Memorial Day my grandmother took flowers to the graves of people she had known, military or not. She was a southern transplant, with ancestors that fought on both sides of the Civil War, but she lived in my grandfather’s state, New Hampshire, so the graves she visited belonged

Why I Reread “Simon’s Luck”

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Alice Munro has been a popular literary writer of short stories for decades. She moves from subtle interior discomfort to the most blatant of coincidences without apology. “Simon’s Luck” is a short story from the book that could be called her only novel: The Beggar Maid. The book could

Why I Reread This Boy’s Life

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I sometimes take comfort in categorizations. The world can always be divided into two populations, it can be obnoxiously insisted: those who send thank-you notes and those who don’t, those who have seen American Idol and those who haven’t…those who get to class on time and those who can’t,

Why I Reread Winesburg, Ohio

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I’ll go out on a limb, here, as the only person I know who doesn’t love Seinfeld. I watched it quite a bit (in-laws, no cable) and got tickled, sometimes. I’ve been impressed by the way the show appeals to folks across all the demographics I’ve been involved with—from

Why I Reread Patricia Highsmith

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I came across Patricia Highsmith like a lot of people in my generation probably did—through the Hollywood movie version of her novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. There are many reasons to enjoy the movie, from the brilliant direction of Anthony Minghella to the weirdness of watching healthy Matt Damon

What I Reread: Something Wicked This Way Comes

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I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Ray Bradbury, or sci-fi in general (though I respect it plenty—its speculation on the future, its persistent social commentary, its relentless and somehow familiar glandular imagining). But every fall when I pick up Something Wicked This Way Comes, I feel the way

What I Reread and Why

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This week we welcome three new Get Behind the Plough bloggers to Ploughshares. The first is Angela Pneuman, whose fiction story “Occupational Hazard” appears in our Spring 2011 issue edited by Colm Toibin.  Angela will post on Mondays through August. When I started writing, one thing I never considered