The Handmaid’s Tale is informed by the Puritanical thread that still knits through American culture and Old Testament history of handmaids: Jacob, father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, in a story of betrayal and jealousy, marries his cousins Leah and Rachel, and in turn, Jacob is offered his wives’ handmaids, Bilhah and Zilpah as surrogates—without their consent.
In high school, looking good and dressing to fit in consumed my friends and me in ways we could only understand with the passage of time. Conformity, and being part of the right group was foolishly important to us. Along with that came beauty products: Dippity-do hair gel, fat hair curlers, bonnet-style hair dryers, […]
Today, amid the parades and family gatherings, I recall the many Memorial Day services I attended, often in churches and at cemeteries where clergy, local veterans, and officers from the VFW and the American Legion Post spoke about hometown heroes lost in past and current wars. I always think of my father on this day. […]
My novel Stony Kill tells the story of a complicated family, opening with the revelation of a family secret—the tragic story of a long ago shooting. The protagonist Joss Ryckman, a thirty-something Brooklyn baker, copes with the mystery of this shooting— was it accidental or not? This revelation soon follows the sudden death of […]