Madelyn Pugh Davis: Girl Writer for “I Love Lucy” – Part 2

Last we left off, it was the late 1940s and Madelyn Pugh Davis and her scriptwriting partner Bob Carroll Jr. had just set their sights to write for the coast-to-coast CBS radio show My Favorite Husband starring Lucille Ball. At the time, Davis and Carroll were writing in California for a Pacific network show starring […]

The Way People Write About Home

In her collection I Feel Bad About My Neck, Nora Ephron includes the essay “Moving On,” about falling in love with her apartment and reaffirming her love for New York City. Ephron writes that after ten years in her apartment, she began to have recurring dreams about accidentally moving out and being unable to regain […]

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time… Four little words that, from childhood on, signal the start of a story. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, though, they start a writer’s story too. Once upon a time there was a boy or a girl who…fell in love with letters and the sounds of words or heart-grabbing stories or pens and […]

The Threat From Above

Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow is an exceptionally long and well-regarded novel, tackling the question of modernity and overwhelming technological change. In it, Slothrop, an American serviceman deployed in London at the end of World War Two with an uncanny ability to sense where rockets will strike the city, is subject to the machinations of shadowy […]

Literary Libations and Eats

As a kid reading some of my favorite books, I yearned not only the clothing or culture of the characters, but I also craved their food and drink. Who wouldn’t want to try Caroline Ingalls’ sourdough biscuits or a taste of her ginger water during chores on a hot summer day? And how about a […]

Fireworks and Breezeblocks: The Music of American Writing

In November of 2010, Katy Perry’s dance-pop anthem to confidence, “Firework,” debuted on the American charts. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 100, topped charts around the world, and was nominated for a Grammy. At the time, few would have guessed that the club song and its music video, which featured Perry […]

Why We Should All Read America is in the Heart

In the early 1930’s, a time of economic turmoil and inequality, and a period of deep national tensions and divisions, Carlos Bulosan immigrated to the United States from the Philippines to find work as a migrant laborer. He was far from the first from his country to do so; indeed, there had been Filipino American […]