John Prine

  I saw him play in Boston a few years back. I’d recently had eye surgery, and kept having to put drops in, so it was like seeing him through tears. I left the show early because I wanted to get home to check on the puppy – it was the longest Roosevelt had ever […]


Haha. An american friend of mine thought I was singing I’m a baby sea tuna instead of “I’m on BBC2 now.” — Αλεξ Καπράνος (@alkapranos) March 24, 2020 If you’re around at 6pm Eastern, or whatever time elsewhere, do attend these listening parties. I listened to the Franz Ferdinand one last night. The Blur […]


By the morning’s end, the survivors were ordered to retreat. Mr. Cinq-Mars helped another wounded soldier onto a landing craft. “I grabbed the chain to pull myself up. Then five or six guys came running from the beach; they banged my head and pushed me underwater and then the boat started to back up and […]

Ned Vizzini

  Years ago I taught in a middle school in Brooklyn. One afternoon a week the kids would read silently – well, that was the idea – from a classroom library kept in a wheeled locker. One day a girl held up the book she was reading and said she’d emailed the author, who replied […]

These Go to Eleven

  Because Foch rejected German requests for a ceasefire while the Armistice was being negotiated … sixty-seven hundred and fifty lives were lost and nearly fifteen thousand men were wounded. Worse yet, British, French, and American commanders made certain that the bloodshed continued at full pitch for six hours after the Armistice had been signed. […]


  My high school probably had a decent English curriculum, but I don’t recall, because I didn’t read most of the books assigned. I’d buy the Cliff’s Notes at Sparr’s and then read Stephen King novels instead. One day I decided there might be more to literature, so I picked up Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire […]

Initials B.B.

  The other week my friend Ben sent me the obituary of Y.A. Tittle, remarking he was surprised to learn the man was not long dead. This naturally made me think of Algeria’s first president, Ben Bella.     You see, just that morning I’d read the following passage about the coup that deposed him: […]