A Country Doctor

A gravely ill man was waiting for me in a village ten miles distant.

A Dark Place

There was no sense in brushing off or any other civilized thing.

A Day in the Life of Woman Cartoonist

I'll rid the world of bad things. But first, I need to get more coffee.

A Farmer’s Life: Xiwuqi, Inner Mongolia

For my vacation last summer, I visited the Bateer family in Xiwuqi.

A Final Conversation

I used bravado to protect myself when we lived in poverty.

A Human History in the Wilderness

My grandfather committed my grandmother to a mental asylum.

A Life with Bears

I want to focus on bears. On knowing them, and on what they need.

A Master at Work

Man is always beginning everything anew, even in his own life.

A Mother’s Son

“Maybe you should leave the rumba to those who know how to do it.”

A Real Writer

Advance planning was never Hank’s strong suit, he had to leave her.

A Secret Space

Two weeks after she and Mark were married, Hannah fell in love.

A Smile of Fortune

She favoured me with an even more viciously scornful “Don’t care!”

A Storyteller’s Story

Americans have always a kind of tenderness for cheat.

A Summer in Between

In a way she enjoyed the slow, sad feeling of letting it go.

A Vacuum Is a Space Entirely Devoid of Matter

I needed a paycheck a lot more than I needed to be kissed.


The guards ripped off Mara’s clothes, pinning her head against the wall.

Advice for a Young Painter

Identify where you came from, where you are, and where you wish to go.

After Saddam

He said he had come back to the prison because it was home.

Agents: The Business of Writing

Art touches the soul and moves life in ways that commerce cannot. E. L. Doctorow noted that writers seem to get business ideas almost right.

Aim High Olongapo

From the flight deck Gray could see home, wherever that might be.

All the Wrecks I’ve Crawled Out Of

I was thinking sex, she was thinking sex, but neither of us made a move.


He longed only for Claire’s strange seriousness, her silent focus.

Amanda Strayhorn, Reverend’s Wife

She countered the reverence of his efforts stroke by stroke, tit for tat.


He fell to the floor and begged the gods. The gods were silent.


Underestimate the beauty in the world and spill coffee down your shirt.


He was gentle and slow, like a blind man washing dishes.

Ann Beattie

Annunciation of the Self-Enclosed God

It’s another thing to have the beloved hesitate, silent, on the porch.

Around Us

We need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly as a plane’s wing.

As Good as Could Be

I didn’t trust her. Relationships like ours aren’t built on trust.