My Blog

A Surprising Page Turner

I’m not a devotee of essays and I’d never heard of Brian Doyle. But when my almost-cousin Genie said I must read Doyles’ new book of said essays, I knew she could be trusted. And, boy, could she!  A distinguished novelist honored by the American Academy of Arts and a...

Authors Without a “Name” Must Self-publish

If my name were Lady Gaga, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Oprah Winfrey, or Lady Gaga, my novel The Cameron Womenwould have been published with one phone call to a New York publisher.  If I committed mass murder, same thing. Even if I just ran naked in front of the White...

The Parisian and The Palestinians

I picked The Parisianby Isabella Hammad off the East Grand Rapids Library’s “New” shelf for a specific reason. The jacket made it clear this was a novel about “a pivotal period in Palestinian history.”  I should have been intimidated by the six long lists of...

How to Fight the Opioid Epidemic? Meet FAN.

Talk about “It takes a village,” how about an entire community!  In 2007 after two opioid deaths in two weeks—30 deaths over the year—the people in the small town of Fraser on the east side of Michigan were scared and angry. That’s when Christ United Methodist Church...

Why the DSM Uses a Name from Ovid 2000 Years Ago

For the first time I can remember, some form of mental illness has been regular front-page news. First, the brain disease of addiction that killed 80,000 Americans last year from opioid overdoses. Then the obscene charge that it’s the mentally ill, not the right-wing...