A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came up behind Jesus and touched his clothes in hope of a cure. Jesus turned to her and said: “Fear not. Because of your faith, you are now healed.”
Then spoke Pious Paul of Ryan: “But teacher, is that wise? When you cure her, she learns dependency. Then the poor won’t take care of themselves, knowing that you’ll always bail them out! You must teach them personal responsibility!” ∞
Early in the evening of July 4, Micaela Giles’s mobile phone started sounding alerts, and a series of messages straight out of a horror movie began scrolling down her screen.
Her 19-year-old son told her that his Airbnb host in Madrid had locked him in the fourth-floor apartment where he was supposed to be staying and removed the key. The host was still there, he said, rattling knives around in the kitchen drawer and pressing him to submit to a sexual act. He begged his mother for help. ∞
“Goodnight Moon” does two things right away: It sets up a world and then it subverts its own rules even as it follows them. It works like a sonata of sorts, but, like a good version of the form, it does not follow a wholly predictable structure. ∞
“The key lies within the Midwestern brain and the nodules, which rise on the surface of the skull,” said Walsh, an investment banker turned amateur phrenologist. Photo: http://goo.gl/5bmfND
New York—The Midwesterner: they grow our food and raise our children, but what do we really know of these simple folk from the hinterlands of the United States? That question has plagued, Jeffrey Walsh, an investment banker residing in Manhattan. Recently, he hired marc&mark to teach his nanny how to cook without a microwave, cream of mushroom soup, or dried onions. The company was recommended by Stephanie Johnson and her husband, Dan Yashiv, because “their nanny, [Erela], from Wisconsin, does not always know the difference between quinoa and couscous.”
“While we may be able to teach a Midwesterner to tear lettuce and wash their hands, we’re only treating the symptoms and not the problem,” said Walsh. “The key lies within the Midwestern brain and the nodules, which rise on the surface of the skull.”
Walsh has studied and cataloged over 100 midwestern skulls. Photo: http://goo.gl/1Mo7JI
Having been rebuffed by neuroscientists, Walsh turned to the time-honored practice of phrenology as practiced by Franz Joseph Gall. “If you have the money, it’s far easier to get human skulls than you may think,” Walsh said, pointing to the wall in his study. “Of course, I haven’t purchased any skulls from the East Coast, that would be uncivilized.” So far, his anecdotal experience has backed up his hypothesis. “The Midwesterner. They’re a different sort. See how the eyes are set and the bone is denser around the frontal lobes of the cerebellum? They’ve obviously evolved to live a simpler, agrarian lifestyle.” The biggest surprise of his research has been the Michigander skulls. “They’re almost Canadian,” Walsh said.
While Walsh isn’t sure where his research will take him, he does offer advice for New Yorkers who are in the market for midwestern help. “Safety pins and patience. Pin notes to their coats. Pretend you’re talking to a child. Forgive them their Crocs”
I’m a genre writer. Gary Shteyngart hasn’t blurbed any of my novels, and Marion Ettlinger has never photographed me for a book jacket. I’m more at ease with the sequins and shirtless men at the Romantic Times conference than I am with the serious eyewear at poetry readings. ∞
When Robert Lowell used his ex-wife’s letters for his poetry, Elizabeth Bishop told him, “Art just isn’t worth that much.” This week, Francine Prose and Leslie Jamison discuss what they make of mining actual relationships for literary material. ∞
Endings have always been my Everest. Or, really, if writing a novel is like climbing Everest, then my tendency is to get within eyeshot of the summit and say, “Well, that’s far enough.” ∞
Gabo lives. The extraordinary worldwide attention paid to the death of Gabriel García Márquez, and the genuine sorrow felt by readers everywhere at his passing, tells us that the books are still very much alive. ∞
Are our overwhelmed, besieged, haphazardly recruited, variably trained, underpaid, not-so-elite teachers, in fact, the potential weak link in Amplify’s bid to disrupt American schooling? Klein said that we have 3.5 million elementary- and middle-school teachers. “We have to put the work of the most brilliant people in their hands,” he said. “If we don’t empower them, it won’t work.” Behind the talking points and buzz words, what I heard him saying was Yes. New York Times, “No Child Left Untableted.”