March 24, 2013
By Ismail Kadare Grove Press. 176 pp. $24 Reviewed by Rhonda Dickey It was one of history's worst regime changes: Nazi occupation during World War II, then postwar communism. For millions, one form of suffering gave way to another. Albanian writer Ismail Kadare crafts The Fall of the Stone City as a microcosm of what happened to the citizens of the small countries that were conquered by big ones. It's a slim fable whose star-crossed characters linger painfully with the reader.
November 29, 2012 |
Hello there Two weeks after moving to Los Angeles, Cory was on set for the taping of his first acting gig: a commercial for a circus school. "What am I doing with my life?" he asked himself. Then a blonde acrobat flew overhead, ending all existential thought. Cory grew up in Texas and Ohio, and moved to Los Angeles in 2009 after earning an international affairs degree from George Washington University. He wanted to make friends in his new city, and it wouldn't hurt if one of them was gorgeous and graceful.
June 25, 2012 |
DEAR ABBY: I just celebrated my 80th birthday at a party with 22 of my dearest friends. I also invited my daughter-in-law, "Sydney," and her mother. The problem is, I didn't invite my 8-year-old granddaughter. I explained that I felt she wouldn't enjoy herself with all of us senior women. Sydney disagreed. I then suggested perhaps it would be better if I had a dinner party for the entire family the following evening. In retaliation for my not inviting my granddaughter, Sydney declined the dinner invitation.
June 8, 2012 |
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were invited to a dinner party at a couple's home. We accepted the invitation with pleasure, only to be told afterward that it was going to be a "potluck. " When I called the hostess to ask if we could bring dessert or perhaps an appetizer, she informed me that the menu had already been planned and we were assigned a side dish neither of us had ever heard of. Then she told me she would email me the recipe. Abby, I was shocked and, frankly, offended.
May 23, 2012 |
Question: Ever since my husband left me five years ago, it seems I attract women friends in the process of divorce who want me to give them emotional support. However, I'm not good at it. First, it brings flashbacks of the most painful time in my life. Second, I know there are two sides to every story. My former best friend, who divorced her husband for not being emotional enough, did not appreciate my saying that I thought he loved her, and he was steady, and this was painful for him. Now another friend, whose marriage I admired because her husband was very communicative and loving, is acting in a way that's heading straight for the judge.
January 5, 2012 |
Here is an excerpt from the blog "My Daughter's Kitchen. " Sally is planning a small dinner party with friends and requested a recipe that is impressive but also doable - one that is foolproof, without tricky techniques, and won't produce too much stress. When entertaining, I told her, I find it so much easier to prepare dishes made in advance, before the kitchen fills with friends chatting and distracting from the task at hand. Plus, it is much more fun for the cook to have the meal in the oven, and have a chance to enjoy the party.
November 23, 2011 |
Expect the usual drama to be served along with the turkey and cranberries at family gatherings this holiday season. Been that way for years, right? Family and friends show up, feast with gusto, then play their roles perfectly: the turkey carver, the neighbor who always promises to bring appetizers then arrives bearing dessert, the football-watchers plopped on the sofa post-dinner, and the same two cousins who always help prep the meal, tweak the gravy, clear the table, and clean up the kitchen.
October 4, 2011
By Ali Smith Pantheon Books. 256 pp. $25 Reviewed by Katie Haegele Once, a man named Miles went to a dinner party and when no one was paying much attention, he walked upstairs and barricaded himself in a spare bedroom and didn't come out for hours, then weeks, then months. He became a celebrity, an invisible spectacle, eventually drawing a crowd of people who camped out on the street beside the house, desperate for a glimpse of him. That's the premise, both absurd and promising, of There But For The . Ambitious, rambunctious, and poetic, it fulfills this promise, by and large.
July 31, 2011
Give a creativity-in-spin award to James Eisenhower for defending his law firm's questionable practices in the Philadelphia Housing Authority's legal-billing scandal ("HUD tells PHA to justify $1 million in legal fees, or repay it," July 22). He was, he said, "ethically and aggressively representing the interests of his clients. " Excuse me, but what kind of aggressive representation goes on at a dinner party, a rally, and ribbon cuttings? The Inquirer stories have brought out the real travesty that occurred.
July 22, 2011 |
The Philadelphia Housing Authority will have to reimburse the federal government for about $1 million it spent on legal fees, including more than $150,000 as a retainer for former City Controller Jonathan Saidel, unless it can come up with a better explanation for those bills by next Friday. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides most of PHA's budget, is seeking the money because the local agency has "failed to provide any evidence of bona fide services rendered" by Saidel, according to a letter sent to PHA by HUD's top local lawyer, Sheryl L. Johnson.