Love in the Time of Zika

Last fall, Krista Hall and her fiancé decided on a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic. Planning a wedding can be a monumental task. Flowers must be chosen, food ordered, cakes tasted, dresses fitted, vows written, music selected . . . the list goes on and on and on. That’s why Hall hired a wedding […]

Can We Defend Ourselves Against Brain Tumors?

Eleven years ago this week, my 67-year-old mother died from a brain tumor. It was Glioblastoma multiforme, an insidious fourth-stage cancer that, without treatment, usually kills within three months. Treatment options are miserable for the patient and not terribly effective; for those who opt for surgery and radiation/chemo, the cancer almost always returns within a year […]

The Misadventures of Garbage Dog

Perhaps there was a time when our dog, Bea, didn’t eat everything. If so, I don’t remember it. At first, we thought it might be a puppy thing. But this month she turned two, and it seems clear that her insatiable appetite is a permanent part of her personality. Dogs aren’t known for their discriminating taste, […]

Blinded by the light

At the end of the year, the New York Times Book Review featured the Year in Poetry, covering 2015 collections by poets here and abroad, and other poetry features, including well-known people who talked about their favorite poems. The section’s Letters department always brings a range of opinions; the comments on the poetry issue followed […]

The Undead: A Holiday Rant

It’s the holiday season so, of course, I’ve been binge-watching The Walking Dead. Something about this time of year makes the still-unbitten characters’ lives appealing. Minus the blood-oozing zombies, life is uncluttered. There are no commercials screaming that Santa’s sale on Christmas socks ends Friday, no light displays at the mall flashing to the beat of Grandma Got […]


A couple of weeks ago, my 20-year-old cousin put his father’s service revolver to his head and pulled the trigger. His parents and one of his brothers were home at the time. They heard the shot and ran to his room. His mother and brother tried to stop the bleeding while his father performed CPR. […]

In Tribute: Her True Calling

Exactly 10 years ago today, I got one of those calls we all dread. My mom had cancer, a stage-4 brain tumor, the kind that seems to pop up out of nowhere fully formed and beyond repair. I was standing in my kitchen when I heard the news, and I remember dropping the phone as I […]