Book review: A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin

One-line summary: a familiar wizard coming-of-age story, leading to a simple, heavy-handed moral: don’t be afraid of death. I didn’t realize until the end how old this book is — published in 1968. That changed my opinion from “derivative” to “foundational” for the fantasy genre of magical educations. But the moral still fell with the force of … Continue reading


Book review: Let’s Discuss Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris

What I appreciate most about Sedaris is his willingness to tell uncomfortable stories about himself. Stories that are not at all flattering to him, but tell very real human truths. One of my favorite things: the way Sedaris says “homosexual,” when imitating a homophobic character. What made me laugh out loud: That’s when I learned … Continue reading

life in the city

HERO, unaccomplished, because campaigns of hatred and fear-mongering still work in 2015

Civil rights laws — especially civil right protections for minorities — do not belong on ballots. Like the title character in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, sometimes I struggle with the notion of a democracy. How can you trust people to decide when there are outcomes like this one, governed by spite and misinformation? There are surely treatises on that … Continue reading