Down East

Last fall I set about finally putting together my family tree, a task that had been on my list since I first went to the North Carolina Collection four falls earlier. With an axe over my head–that I was to be a teaching assistant for a family history class in the spring–I was anxious to … Continue reading Down East

Early Summer

The predictability of early summer in Chapel Hill: the honeysuckle rioting over every sidelined bush; furniture and other castoffs along the sides of the road (four pans on Patterson Place, all alone); the shock of new heat; our branch of Morgan Creek dried up and the snakes crawling out onto the road looking for water, … Continue reading Early Summer

A Fur-Lined Overcoat

“I’m not in a very good mood with ‘America’ myself,” William Dean Howells wrote to Henry James in 1888. “It seems to be the most grotesquely illogical thing under the sun; and I suppose I love it less because it won’t let me love it more. I should hardly like to trust pen and ink … Continue reading A Fur-Lined Overcoat

The Practical & The Imagined, or An Answer to “When Am I Ever Going to Use This?”

My severance package from the job I held for a little over a year post-graduation was a book, a present quite fitting for my next step. The Educated Imagination (forgive but don’t forget this title) by Northrop Frye (an old-time English comrade perhaps?) broadly “explores the value and and uses of literature and its study … Continue reading The Practical & The Imagined, or An Answer to “When Am I Ever Going to Use This?”