Category: books

It makes total sense that Book Lovers Day would fall right in the middle of the hottest days of summer, when there really isn’t anything better than sitting in front of the air conditioning (or some other cooling device) and reading. As it happens, as I’ve been in the homestretch of finishing a work in […]

I’ve been more quiet than usual because I’ve been dusting off my photography/summer counselor skills at Jewish surf camp (!) [more on that later, obviously] interviewing my share of incredible writers for Kirkus Reviews, reading and watching and reporting all of kinds of other things for other stories, finishing up my work in progress draft, […]

The spring before I left the Bronx to go to boarding school, to accept a scholarship that would change the entire trajectory of my life, I had an abortion. I was 15. I was raised a devout Catholic; I’ve always been a deeply spiritual person. But I also had been so desperately lonely for such […]

“I’m black. I’m solitary. I’ve always been an outsider.” This is how Octavia Butler described herself, the first self-possessed Black woman writer introvert, I had the honor of writing about for publication. Actually interviewing her was one of the great honors of my life, two years before her death in 2006. I wonder what she […]

I self-published my memoir The Beautiful Darkness: A Handbook for Orphans in October 2016 after spending more than 20 years working on one version of the story or another. The book’s name comes from two sources. The concept of being an orphan, particular in the Black community, may seem jarring. We are, after all, known […]

Last Friday evening, I was first in line at the Harry Belafonte Library in Harlem to listen to the first in a series of talks co-presented by the National Book Foundation and the New York Public Library called Notes from the Reading Life featuring two Black women I admire: Thelma Golden and Kaitlyn Greenidge. Golden […]

I wrote about the Bronx Book Festival for the Village Voice and how the Bronx is having a resurgence of the book scene with the work and leadership of Saraceia J. Fennell and Noelle Santos, but there were a couple of quotes from one of the panels that I wanted to add in the spirit […]

Roses for the living. I was thinking of this saying when I first heard that Erica Garner had a heart attack and we were all hopeful for recovery. I was surrounded by my family, and my sweet nephew led us in prayer for her, and my thoughts were consumed with her and her family, what […]

It is easy to be smitten with Zadie Smith, as I think I am. She has freckles and I love freckles. She can sing. She has a lovely accent. She is witty. She writes well. Actually, she’s brilliant. I’m a fan of her nonfiction, and I was smitten more with Changing My Mind, her book […]