BETWEEN THE LINES

Honoring our three mothers

May 12, 2012

Tags: mother

Anne Shaffer Meeropol, 1909 – 1973
Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg, 1915 – 1953
Pauline Taube Diamond, 1918 – 2008

Robby and I have had three mothers, all born in New York, all gone now. Of course, I never met his birth mother; Ethel was executed when Robby was six. But Ethel lives in our family history and in my imagination. I’ve written poems, dramatic programs, and stories about her, trying to find my truth of the woman among the multitudes of others' journalistic and literary interpretations. Robby's adoptive mom, Anne, was the woman who raised him, who I met and loved as his mother. My own mother, dead four years now, returns to me in quick gestures and phrases – sometimes remembered but more often glimpsed in the mirror or heard from my mouth. I’m only now starting to be able to write about her, to transform her into fiction. (more…)

Books and imaginary friends

May 2, 2012

Tags: Writing, imaginary friends

Like many of you, I read a lot – several books a week. I choose them for different reasons. Some to admire and learn from. Some because of commitments to my two book groups, including the group I lead at the Odyssey Bookshop. Some because the author is a friend, or perhaps a Facebook friend. I read advanced reading copies (ARCs) as a member of the First Edition Club selection committee at the bookstore. I love novels that tackle big political/ethical/moral dilemmas and I look for those, but sometimes a totally different kind of book will choose me and surprise me.

That’s what happened with Matthew Dicks’ Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, which I picked up from the wobbling piles of ARCs on the kitchen table at the bookstore. I met Matthew last year when we were both invited to participate in the wonderful Books on the Nightstand readers’ retreat in Manchester Center, Vermont. (more…)