Michael Halberstam’s ‘The Wanting of Levine’: An Uncanny 1970s Political Novel Worthy of Rejuvenation

Any serious novelist worth their salt fantasizes that their work will endure beyond their lifetime.  As both an earnest practitioner of the novelist’s art and a lifetime student of classic literature, I am always heartened when I learn about a novel written decades ago, long buried from public view, that suddenly pops into the public […]

The Role of the Fiction Writer in Our Current Presidential Election

The true test of talent for a fiction writer is the ability to imagine pain, angst, despair, discouragement, frustration as well as joy, ecstasy, elation and pleasure. This is the power that runs the machine of character creation that lies at the very heart of storytelling. As we fiction practitioners understand, craft can be learned, […]

Why Should Novelists Be Politically Correct?

The recent flap over a romance novel titled For Such a Time whose plot features a concentration camp inmate falling in love with her Nazi captor has aroused the wrath of various critics and readers on grounds that it is too discomfiting and disturbing to have been published. While I can understand why some readers […]

Lying About My Age: A Reflection on Ageism

I am seriously thinking about lying about my age. Of course it’s impossible. The internet has my age engraved in perpetuity. I notice the difference immediately after my most casual face-to-face social revelation of the “number” – even if it is merely a reminder to my friends and my children. The change in expression is […]

Hitler Speaks Again Through the Mein Kampf Reprinting

  Never has irony been more toxic than the planned reissue of Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which has been prohibited from duplication in Germany since WWII. This reissue comes at the exact moment when anti-Semitism in Europe has risen to proportions not seen in decades. The copyright, owned by the Bavarian government who, to its […]

Uncle Don and Uncle Brian : Thoughts on Brian Williams

For some reason the strange saga of Brian Williams reminds me of another equally bizarre story concerning Uncle Don, who ran a popular radio show for kids on WOR in New York when I was a pre-schooler in the distant past. I listened to Uncle Don religiously in those days. It was every mother’s choice […]

Weighing in on The Torture Report: Torture or Deprogramming?

Amid all the abrasive and conflicting arguments prompted by the so-called torture report released by Senator Feinstein, I am baffled by the absence of the crucial, indispensable question that never entered into the conversation, pro or con. That question is simply why those men who were chosen to endure water-boarding never reacted to other less […]