Author Archive

The Borderlands of Language: Using Italics for “Foreign” Words (Part I)

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Junot Díaz once told me that he writes for his six best friends and the rest of the world.  This was a few summers ago in a VONA fiction workshop in San Francisco. We had been discussing the meaty issue of how much to explain in our short stories

Bridging the Divide: Why I Brought My Mom to Bread Loaf

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I didn’t grow up in what I would call a literary family. We delivered newspapers; we didn’t read them. We told stories constantly, but we never wrote them down. My mom is a housekeeper. All her life she has never taken a sick day. No work meant no paycheck.