Friday, September 22, 2017


Emily Frankel tells her husband that the ancient classic literature that he reads on his kindle almost every night is "mostly boring, not my cup of tea."

John tells wife Emily that Plato, Sophocles, (& others like them) help him run his life, and understand the world of today.

Monday, September 18, 2017


This is Arundhati Roy.
I saw the photo, the headline "Captures India's chaotic beauty," above a review of her new book in Newsweek Magazine. Her face ... this photo ... got me reading the article.

Apparently in her book "THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS," author Roy wanders at night near her home in Delhi, observing the poor people who survive there among palaces, mosques, and cemeteries, trying, as an writer, to make what's not seen, clear and visible.

In this book, her second book that was written twenty years after her award-winning first novel "GOD OF SMALL THINGS," Roy moves from a family in an old graveyard, to what's happening in distant Kashmir where a love triangle unfolds -- a college pal and a journalist -- two people whose mixed background, (parents from different classes) resembles Roy's own background.

Roy says to write about India, without addressing its caste problem, would be like ignoring the legacy of aparthied in South Africa. The 55-year-old Roy has spent the last twenty years writing about injustices -- local and global -- from the negative ecological impact of hydroelectric projects in India to her support for National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden.

"It was about ten years ago," Roy said, "that I started feeling all my urgent interventions weren't making any difference. In Kasmir, I couldn't express what I learned about terror and repression with footnotes and facts. Fiction seemed to be, for me, the right thing to do. All the journeys I've made, all the things I have done, form the underpinnings of "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness."

So, did a buy a copy? Am I reading this new book?

Not yet. My desk is piled high with work I must do on my novels that John Cullum's publishing as audio videos. Am I recommending it? Yes.
Those words she wrote, and her face -- the look of her sticks in my mind -- woman, girl, amused, thoughtful, hugely observant. She inspires me to do the same things in my work. Maybe she'll inspire you too.