On Beauty, and Losing a Friend

(or How Grief May Ignite an ‘Incipient Forest Fire’ of Insight Within a Person Wandering the Streets of Venice) “The hat had belonged to Harriet and although Miss Garnet, when she had seen it on Harriet, had considered it overdramatic, she had found herself reluctant to relegate it to the Oxfam box. The hat represented,Continue reading “On Beauty, and Losing a Friend”

Difficult men, part 1

Often these days the novels we pick up tell of people we would wish to be, or at least spend time with. They might have flaws and failings, they may not rise to the potential we are induced to see in them, they may have the odds stacked against them, but at heart they areContinue reading “Difficult men, part 1”

Smell the cabbage

I can’t stop thinking about the sauerkraut. I’ll give you the scene. A young woman in her Toronto apartment. Some workers arrive to fix the plumbing downstairs, and one comes up to turn on the water. Our heroine is wary: her pantry contains a crock of “out-of-control” sauerkraut. Once the plumber is back downstairs, sheContinue reading “Smell the cabbage”

Prescription: one fine passage a day

‘Henrietta was a literary woman, and the great advantage of being a literary woman was that you could go everywhere and do everything’ Years ago, when I was young and snooty and resentful of obligatory social engagements, I attended a work party with my then-boyfriend (his work, not mine). I found myself sipping wine inContinue reading “Prescription: one fine passage a day”