Today belongs to my mother!

May 28 | 2020

To mark today’s official release of my memoir, The Smallest Objective, I’m sharing this picture of my mother, Rene, the book’s central character. Here she is in her late teens (c. 1950), when she confided to her five-year diary: By the time I got in it was 2:30 a.m. Dad was standing with the broomstick. He told me I would have to break my date for tomorrow night & I knew my name would be mud. 


A novel of the immigrant experience in America

May 25 | 2020

The Rise of David Levinsky, published in 1917, is an early example of a novel about the hardships and triumphs of immigration. In The Smallest Objective, the narrator discovers her grandfather’s copy of this book by Abraham Cahan, part of its cover image depicted here. The novel is still a fantastic read! In it, David, a newcomer to New York City, reflects on the real estate boom: “Deals were being closed, and poor men were making thousands of dollars in less time than it took them to drink the glass of tea or the plate of sorrel soup over which the transaction took place.”


It’s a postiche!

May 22 | 2020

Does anyone recognize this 1960s must-have hairpiece? In The Smallest Objective, the narrator recalls, “The postiche gave my mother’s beehive hairdo the thrust of a model skyscraper.” The original beehive was worn by Audrey Hepburn and Dusty Springfield, among others, and more recently by Amy Winehouse and Adele. Shown here is my mother’s postiche, along with the vintage case in its faux alligator finish. 


Preview of The Smallest Objective in OrcaSound arts & entertainment news!

May 20 | 2020

Please enjoy this preview, which does a great job of introducing the book’s central themes and subject matter. You get to hear the publisher’s take on The Smallest Objective, too.

 

 


Rhinestone and Bakelite. Plastic and rubber …

May 14 | 2020

In the opening chapter of The Smallest Objective, the narrator sets aside all ideas of treasure for nine days, focusing on nothing but buttons. Examples like the clovers, football, and flowers illustrated here are called “realistics”—because of their true-to-life shapes. Also known as “goofies,” these kinds of buttons first appeared in the late 1930s. The display you see is from my own collection. Other goofies masquerade as squirrels and Scottie dogs, bowls of fruit, cigarette packets, and even Heinz pickles!


The Smallest Objective: Interview on Book of Life

May 8 | 2020

Podcaster Heidi Rabinowitz has been kind enough to post an interview about The Smallest Objective on her blog for The Book of Life.  

Be sure to check out Heidi’s podcasts on kids’ lit, as well as the special series Books in the Time of Coronavirus, of which my interview is a part.


Sneak preview: My mother on her wedding day

May 5 | 2020

Here’s my mother, Rene, a central character in The Smallest Objective, wearing the Simonetta of Rome wedding dress described in the opening chapter. This 1955 gown is now in the collection of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario, where it appeared in a show of bridal wear. 


New book finally on the way!

May 5 | 2020

The Smallest Objective was on track for an April 23 release when the printer in Quebec suspended operations at the start of the pandemic. March and April were difficult months as my publisher and I awaited news of when the printer could safely resume work. At last, circumstances have improved, and we have a firm publication date for the print edition: May 28. Please stay tuned, and thanks for your patience.


Great afternoon at Toronto’s Draft Reading Series!

November 18 | 2019

I was lucky yesterday to be able to participate in an afternoon of readings at East End Arts. Jennifer Alicia and Nadia L. Hohn were the principal readers, with others of us contributing “brief readings.” The five-minute slots allow for a range of writers to participate, encouraging loads of variety as everyone shares works in progress. Among yesterday’s brief readers were playwright Marcia Johnson, novelists Lesley Krueger and Hannah Brown, and fiction writers Dawn Chapman, Ron Schafrick and Becky Blake. My own contribution was an excerpt from a short story. Thanks to the Draft Collective for a memorable afternoon of readings, and congratulations to the founder of Draft, Maria Meindl, on the publication of her first novel, The Work (Stonehouse Publishing).


My story “The Shell Thief” now in Room Magazine

November 20 | 2017

Please check out my short story “The Shell Thief” in the migration issue (40.3) of Room Magazine.