Tag Archives: Francine Friedman

Short and Sweet: The American Short Story

American writers of short stories used to be regarded as less prominent than novelists. In fact, many readers would anxiously await their favorite short-story authors to embark on a novel, as they considered their short stories something of a warm-up exercise. And when that novel was born, such writers would often be referred to by […]

American Authors of Short Stories – Part Two

Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980) was born Callie Russel Porter to Harrison Boone Porter and Mary Alice (Jones) Porter.  Her father had a cousin who was an American writer: O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter.   Perhaps those literary genes ran in the family.  When Callie was two years old, her mother died and […]

American Authors of Short Stories – Part One

Stories are a part of life.  They’re everywhere.  We relate them over the phone to friends who live miles away.  We share some tales of our youth to our children during those rare moments when we have their undivided attention.  We hear their own stories when we ask how their days went at school.  We […]

Genres…and More

So many choices, where to begin? For years, newspapers have been dividing bestsellers into Fiction and Non-fiction. Yet if one digs deeper into these two genres, a stream of sub-genres emerges. FICTION: Fantasy explores alternate worlds, timelines, and universes, often taking individuals from reality into an entirely imagined realm. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings may […]

Nothing to Envy

Although I enjoy reading many genres, fiction is my favorite. I love to be transported to another neighborhood, city, state, country, continent, or world.  Nonetheless, I was talking with a friend about global affairs, when she recommended a non-fiction book, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. Before reading the book, I wanted to […]

Grammar Rules

Grammar rules rule—or do they? They certainly did in my day. As a grade school student many decades ago, I would anxiously approach the blackboard when called upon to diagram sentences. The challenge back then was analogous to completing a crossword puzzle in The New York Times today. Years later when I was teaching English […]

Studs Terkel . . . One of a Kind

Louis “Studs” Terkel was born in the Bronx in 1912 to Russian-Jewish parents who relocated to Chicago when he was eleven.  His father opened a rooming house for immigrants, which introduced the young Terkel to people of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds. No wonder his books are filled with such memorable characters. Studs got his […]