September 12, 2016 |
Melissa Shang's transformation from a quiet Chester County fifth grader into a national disability advocate began with a battle over a doll. Born with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a neurological disorder that causes muscular atrophy in her legs and arms, Melissa wanted to see herself in her favorite toy. Almost three years ago, when she was 10 and her sister, Eva, was 17, they started a widely shared online petition asking the maker of American Girl...
September 11, 2016 |
Ian McEwan was ranked by the Times of London among the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. His novels, including Amsterdam , which won the 1998 Man Booker Prize, and Atonement , a 2001 novel made into a 2007 Oscar-winning movie, have attracted a large worldwide audience. McEwan visits the Free Library on Wednesday for a conversation about his new novel, Nutshell . The book is based on the story of Hamlet , told from the point of view of a fetus. McEwan talked about his new book and his writing life.
July 28, 2016 |
The question to the kids Tuesday morning was simple, yet profound: What would they do if they were president? The answers — given in essay form by Philadelphia students ages 7 to 17 — were compelling. Many answered that they would end racism or solve the issue of contentious police relations in their communities. Maybe they were light on specifics, but they were full of emotion. Or humor: One boy, sweltering in the sun with uncounted others, wrote that if he were president, he'd be writing in the air-conditioning.
June 20, 2016
This fan thought that if Diana Gabaldon, author of the "Outlander" book series, was writing the episode, there might be some sweet Jamie and Claire together time in "Vengeance is Mine," episode 11 in the Starz TV series based on her books. Ha! Should have known better. Not that there isn't some of that - and let's face it, actors Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan can pack a lot of emotion into a glance or a quick before-battle kiss between their characters - but, as DG explains here , "Outlander" was never meant to be a romance, in the modern sense anyway.
June 19, 2016
Reading and Writing Cancer How Words Heal By Susan Gubar W.W. Norton. 240 pp. $26.95 Reviewed by Janet Falon Words heal. Reading them. Writing them. Both. In Reading and Writing Cancer by Susan Gubar, you're taught how to use words to write about your cancer experience in a healing way, and how to read and be enriched by the words of writers (and some visual artists) whose work springs from their own encounter with this ubiquitous disease.
June 13, 2016 |
A YOUNG mother gives up her newborn baby boy for adoption only months before her own high school graduation. The mother is 17. Nearly 50 years later, the mother, Victoria Huggins Peurifoy, tells the story in a letter to a son she saw only once. In a poem based off a family photograph, which includes a little girl, Carol Richardson McCullough writes of the sister she never met. The toddler died before McCullough was born. These are samples of the stories and poems collected in two new books, Anthology 2 and Portraits Through Time.
May 29, 2016 |
The dentist and the ex-cop first met about five years ago at a pain management seminar at Tufts University. "He asked me what I was doing there," recalls Carlos Aquino, who spent 23 years on the Philadelphia police force before retiring in 1995 as a sergeant specializing in narcotics investigations. "When I told him, he understood. " Elliot Hersh, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania dental school who specializes in pharmacology, understood so well that he soon had Aquino lecturing his students on the dangers of overprescribing painkillers, including opioids such as Percocet and Vicodin.
May 25, 2016 |
Regarding the 51/2-week strike against Verizon by nearly 40,000 union members: After talking to company and union leaders, "we continue to expect the strike to end relatively soon," but it will still reduce this year's earnings for Verizon by around $200 million, or a nickel a share, writes New York-based telecom analyst Barry Sine in a report to clients of Philadelphia-based Drexel, Hamilton & Co. Both labor and management say "a solution is possible,"...
May 9, 2016
Beth Kephart is the author 21 books, including "This Is the Story of You" (Chronicle Books) I may have been an angsty adolescent, but my darkest secret involved nothing more than this: a box of watercolors, a drugstore paintbrush, a Bic pen, and a series of blank books with Naugahyde covers. I painted the pages of those books to buckling saturation. I waited, impatiently, for them to dry. Afterward, alone on my roof or in the shade of a tree, I Bic-scratched into those multitonal hues such awe-invoking grandeur as this: A daffodil dons her yellow skirt, Smoothes out the ruffled pleats of the hem, Places her fringed bonnet on her tiny head . . . and goes out for tea. Clearly I was just inches away from a career as the next Jack Kerouac, the future Allen Ginsberg, the once-and-always Emily Dickinson.
April 29, 2016 |
'Tonight, we commune with the dead," declared the intermission lecturer, Philip Jones, a Babylonian specialist. Is that so different from many classical music concerts? This occasion was different. It was called "Ancient Echoes," a special concert at the Penn Museum's Chinese Rotunda on Tuesday, surrounded by Tang Dynasty sculptures. Egyptian sarcophagi lay in the next room. The event was special, indeed. The rotunda is a 90-foot-high dome: Acoustic spaces this diffuse and reverberant are so tough on preexisting repertoire that two new pieces were written for the space.