Selected Essays

A photo of my mother, daughter, and me, referenced in my  O Magazine  essay .

A photo of my mother, daughter, and me, referenced in my O Magazine essay.

Below are a few selections from my published essays throughout the years:

“American Fall, Writers Reflect on September 2018, and Touring During the Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court” Five Dials Press, December,  2018

“As a woman, as a writer, I was speaking a lot on my tour about finding my voice, how for years as a literary editor I had been coaxing stories out of others because I didn’t believe in the power of my own voice, and how I had wrestled blindly for years, as if in the dark, to trust my own words, to believe they had impact and to tell my own personal story in a memoir. As a woman, as a writer, how was I to address the elephant now bearing down on our national psyche?” (click here to read more)

"One Wedding and a Funeral: How the Show Must Go On" - Lit Hub, August 2018.

"I had spent my entire career as an editor at Vogue, The Paris Review, and later at Tin House, and nurtured the work of countless writers. Which was a privilege, but it had the added benefit of keeping me from that storage box. We all have that storage box somewhere in our psyche, the one where we keep secrets and traumas and pain, sealed up tight with tape that yellows over time. I had pushed it as far away as I could, so I could go about my life, a life spent coaxing stories out of others. I was unwilling, as Wallace Stevens has it, to feel “the dark encroachment of that old catastrophe." (click here to read more.)

"The Perilous Dune" - Allure, December 2006. Republished in Money Changes Everything: Twenty-two Writers Tackle the Last Taboo With Tales of Sudden Windfalls, Staggering Debts, and Other Surprising Turns of Fortune (Doubleday, 2007)

"When I was young, before I was old enough to lie about where I’d been the night before and how late I’d come home, the thing I lied about with frequency was my address.   I would say very precisely, when asked, that I lived between Madison and Park Avenue on 73 Street in Manhattan, which, if I had been living in the courtyard of our apartment building on the Upper East Side, would have been correct." (click here to read more.)

"Your Mother Knows a Few Things" - O Magazine, May 2008

"My mother and I did not always get along.  But there was a time, when I was about 16 and my father was still alive, when we did.  Late at night, we’d sit up in the living room, drinking diet soda and smoking cigarettes.  I had just learned to smoke then, and I was working for a certain look, a special controlled nonchalance that I saw my mother as having perfected.  So I puffed as she puffed, watching her every move.  The way she’d inhale deeply, then let the smoke out in a dramatic waft.  The way she cocked the cigarette just so between two fingers, her head leaning on her hand, the elbow casually grazing the arm of the couch.  She looked both poised and wise, I thought…." (click here to read more.)