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  Key to the collage  
Home page collage  
 

On the home page, Hannah Jennings and I have placed a collage of images:

  • Photos of my most formative influences—my mother, father, sisters, husband, daughter—all of us frozen in time at some earlier age for reasons too complex to go into here.
  • Three small sculptures—(1) the ivory Buddha my husband’s grandmother gave me and (2) from a completely different culture and artistic tradition but somehow expressing the same joyous comfort in the body, the languorous porcelain lady. To the left of the Buddha is (3) an egg with legs—the chicken and egg finally united in a single moment.
  • My favorite scent—vetiver, so refreshing in hot, humid weather—from the wonderful Hové in New Orleans.
  • An advance reading copy of my novel, an edited page from it, and its table of contents. Cover photo is courtesy of Bill Rauhauser. I am grateful for having found Bill and for his willingness to have his image on the cover of my book.
  • The stuffed and overtaxed address book with the broken binding that I can’t quite part with.
  • Two of my writing awards—one from the Center for Yiddish Culture and the other from Moment magazine and the Karma Foundation.
  • A broken, inscribed ceramic pot, the inspiration for my essay “Dearest Tabitha.”
  • At the bottom of the collage, you’ll see a strong, elegant scribble of a design. That’s the logo of the Doe Coover Agency, where my agent, Colleen Mohyde, works. It was a lucky day when author and journalist Leslie Whitaker (sadly, deceased, 2011) took the time to connect me with Colleen.
  • The photo of me at the bottom center, surrounded by books, as well as the background photo (windows looking onto my yard, reflecting books) and several other photos you will find on this website come courtesy of Illinois photographer Cindy Trim.
  • My blueberry pie. Pie baking—especially the art of the crust—has been an interest of mine for many years. Luckily, several years ago, I made an online friend named Patry Francis, also a writer, and together we established a summer tradition of baking blueberry pies for our muses. Patry explains the roots of this tradition far better than I can, so be sure to check her blog during blueberry season for the explanation and the recipe. Or go to her blog now and search back to blueberry season. Many have joined us in baking this pie over the years, and it’s all to the good as far as I can tell.
  • A discarded plastic water bottle (top right of collage). This is another item connected with Patry and inspired by a blog post in which she described going for a walk and picking up ten variations on a theme; in her case, it was shells on the beach. In my case, it was litter, and from that I began a weekly practice of collecting litter.
  • Speaking of blogs, I hope you’ll read mine. Titled the Discomforts of Diversity.

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