Where Go Our Dreams?

Today my grief is for the dreams. The coronavirus brings new feelings each day. For me, fear is primary among them. But today, my heart is breaking for those who have built dreams—a fabulous restaurant, their own plumbing business, a profitable bookshop—only to watch it shutter. Closed. No customers. Quiet. I grieve, too, for those who stand...

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Surgery in the Time of Coronavirus

I sat in the early-morning dark of the hospital parking lot, my phone clutched in my hand. I’d been in the lot since 3:30 am. The charge on the phone—my lifeline to my husband—was running out. No one else was in the lot. A fluorescent streetlight blinked. Was the pain in his leg a blood clot? Was he in danger? My gaze flickered between the...

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Could There Be a Better Combination?

I just finished watching Steph Curry and Dr. Fauci have a Q&A on the coronavirus on IG. It was the best. An extremely healthy, hugely popular young athlete and an old, extremely personable expert on the coronavirus talking in an informal question and answer session, with Steph (I’m gonna call him Steph as if we go way back) analyzing and...

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Silver Linings in a Cloud

It is 9:00am. I have walked the dog, fried eggs for breakfast, and wiped down all the frequently touched surfaces in the apartment. I’ve taken out the trash and the recycle, fed the dog, and helped my husband with his needs as a post-surgery patient. I’ve cleaned the dishes and started a load of laundry. Between care duties and the coronavirus,...

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Coming of Age in Mississippi

Coming of Age in Mississippi: Ann Moody (published 1968) Reading accurate histories of Mississippi can be a tradeoff between being appropriately reminded—again—of how TERRIBLE things were and constantly seeing Black folk as victims, victims, victims. Ann Moody—born Essie May Moody—was not a victim. She was a girl then young woman whose clear-sightedness...

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Lord, This Wore Me Down

(I INTRODUCED this set of book reviews here. This is the 4th in the series) Pedro ParamoJuan Rulfo (set in Mexico, pub 1955)Plot Summary: man returns to (literal) ghost town searching for his father This is the second time in as many reviews that I find myself reviewing a book not for its writing or character development or dialogue or atmosphere...

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How Do You Choose What to Read?

(I INTRODUCED this set of book reviews here. This is the 3rd in the series) The Transmigration of BodiesYuri Herrera (set somewhere in Mexico, pub 2016)Plot Summary: During a killing plague, a fixer is called to solve a dispute between two crime families Goodreads reviews are to advise other readers whether they want to read the book or not,...

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When You are Set Apart by Your Gifts

(I introduced this set of book reviews here. This is the 2nd in the series) The Loneliness of AngelsMyriam J.A. Chancy (set primarily in Haiti, pub 2010Plot summary: a family tries to understand—and live with—its gift of discernment I recently have read a lot of books in a very short span of time, all by authors with whom I was previously...

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What if We Quit Dying?

As I mentioned earlier, when I was in school, I loved the week between Christmas and New Year’s because all I did during that time was read, book after book. I wanted to replicate that reading marathon this year, and, in particular, read the Spanish-language based books my Mother gave me for Christmas last year (yeah, I know I’m late,...

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