Huddle Fever: Living in the Immigrant City (New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995) Non-Fiction.
Children of Men (New York, NY: Persea Books, 1991) A novel.
Shadow Bands (Princeton, NJ: Ontario Review Press, 1988) Short stories.
Virtually Now: Stories of Science, Technology, and the Future (New York, NY: Persea Books, 1996).
Show Me a Hero: Great Contemporary Stories about Sports (New York, NY: Persea Books, 1995).
The Literary Dog: Great Contemporary Dog Stories (New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990).
(The Literary Dog was also published in Great Britain and Japan.)
Selected articles on art, collecting, antiques, and history:
Review of Musical Clocks of Early America, 1730-1830: A Catalogue Raisonné by Gary R. Sullivan & Kate Van Winkle Keller, American Furniture, Luke Beckerdite, ed. (Milwaukee, WI: Chipstone Foundation, 2019). Forthcoming.
"The Peter & Carolyn Lynch Collection: An American Mosaic," [Book Title TK] (Salem, MA: Peabody Essex Museum, 2019). Forthcoming.
"James Arthur and His 'Temple of Time,' Part IV," Maine Antique Digest, February 2019.
"James Arthur and His 'Temple of Time,' Part III," Maine Antique Digest, January 2019.
"James Arthur and His 'Temple of Time,' Part II," Maine Antique Digest, December 2018.
"James Arthur and His 'Temple of Time,' Part I," Maine Antique Digest, November 2018. As the subtitle says, it is "A Cautionary Tale for Collector-Donors and Their Beneficiaries." Three more parts will follow.
"'Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting,'" Maine Antique Digest, September 2018. Review of show at Bowdoin College's art museum.
"Mormons, Mexicana, and Marilyn Monroe: All in a Day's Work at Printed & Manuscript Americana Sale," Maine Antique Digest, July 2018.
"Institutions are Heavy Buyers at Printed & Manuscript African Americana Sale," Maine Antique Digest, July 2018.
"'Please Remember': The African Americana Collection of Avis & Eugene Robinson," Maine Antique Digest, May 2018.
"Photo Sale Offers Iconic Americana," Maine Antique Digest, May 2018. Lewis W. Hine images in particular.
"Papers from the American Revolution's French Connection Soar at Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale," Maine Antique Digest, April 2018. Report on a Christie's auction featuring archives of the Marquis de Chastellux.
"Using Collectibles as Ad Props: A Good Sign?" Maine Antique Digest, March 2018. Thoughts on a TD Ameritrade ad.
"Boston’s Ayer Mansion Seeks Its Missing Tiffany Vase," Maine Antique Digest, March 2018.
"Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st-Century Naturalist," Maine Antique Digest, January 2018. Review of the artist's retrospective at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art.
"The Kids are All Here," Maine Antique Digest, January 2018. An eye-opening visit to the World Maker Faire in New York.
"Photos and Photo Books, Art and Storytelling," Maine Antique Digest, January 2018. Report on a sale at Swann Galleries.
"Dear Friend and Fellow Laborer," Schlesinger Library Bulletin, Fall 2017. Harvard acquires 19th-century African American schoolteacher Rebecca Primus's correspondence.
"Columbus Letter Sells for $751,000," Maine Antique Digest, December 2017. The document’s American provenance represents more than mere cachet. It supplies a needed reassurance. That’s because, in the last few years, two other Columbus Letters have been discovered to have been stolen from Italian libraries, then replaced with forgeries.
"John Quincy Adams Daguerreotype Sells to National Portrait Gallery for $360,500," Maine Antique Digest, December 2017.
"Family Archive of Pioneer Missionary Correspondence Tops Star-Spangled Printed and Manuscript Americana Sale," Maine Antique Digest, December 2017.
"Hoarder or Collector? Some Readings and Reflections," Maine Antique Digest, November 2017. A visit to the Edward Gorey House inspired this essay.
"Brimfield: Yesterday and Today," Maine Antique Digest, October 2017. Excursion to the famous flea market with a couple of younger collectors, plus a visit to Robert C. Cheney's house, prompting reminiscences about Brimfield as it used to be.
"The Scoundrel, the Bore, the Madman, and Other Collector Stereotypes in Books and Movies," Maine Antique Digest, October 2017. Sequel to "Collected."
"Lady of the Canyon," Maine Antique Digest, September 2017. Profile of Mary Jane Colter, designer and architect of Grand Canyon sites.
"Alcoholics Anonymous Sues for Return of 'the Big Book' Manuscript," Maine Antique Digest, July 2017.
"The Art and Science of the Philosophy Chamber at Harvard," Maine Antique Digest, July 2017. Review of an exhibit at the Fogg Art Museum.
"$1.2 Million Photography Sale Offers Americana from Ansel Adams to Anonymous," Maine Antique Digest, July 2017.
"Matisse in the Studio: The Object as Muse," Maine Antique Digest, June 2017. Review of Henri Matisse show at the MFA about the role that the artist's favorite props played in the creation of his artworks.
"Two Heroes of the Slavery Era are Standouts at $1.2 Million African Americana Sale," Maine Antique Digest, June 2017. Story about the sale of a newly discovered Harriet Tubman photo and a Frederick Douglass letter.
"Collected," Maine Antique Digest, May 2017. A personal essay in the form of a survey of books on collecting and collectors.
"The Story of a Shingle-Style House with Secrets," Maine Antique Digest, April 2017. Book review of Jane Goodrich's bio of George Nixon Black.
"A Very Young Collector," Maine Antique Digest, February 2017. Susan Parker, age ten, lover of Currier & Ives, c. 1941.
"Louisa May Alcott Manuscripts Go to Concord Free Library in Private Sale," Maine Antique Digest, January 2017.
"Gentlemen Prefer Punch," Cured Magazine, Fall 2016. The secret history of an "ancient" men's club punch.
"Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment Sell Together for First Time," Maine Antique Digest, August 2016.
"Historical Documents Sale Highlights Reagan's 50-Year Correspondence with a Fan," Maine Antique Digest, July 2016.
"Black History Matters: 20th Anniversary of Swann African Americana Sales," Maine Antique Digest, June 2016.
"Black History Matters," p. 2
"Black History Matters," p. 3
"Black History Matters," p. 4
"Black History Matters," p. 5
"Family Pictures: The Codman Estate's Collection," Fine Art Connoisseur, May-June 2016.
"Bay Psalm Book with Salem Witch Trial Provenance Tops $1 Million Sale," Maine Antique Digest, May 2016.
"Swann's Best Ever African American Fine Art Sale: $3.1 Million," Maine Antique Digest, April 2016.
"North American Atlas Leads Auction House's Highest Grossing Rare Maps Sale," Maine Antique Digest, April 2016.
"Good Fellows: The Walpole Society," Maine Antique Digest, March 2016. Part V of V. A history of an exclusive collector club.
"Good Fellows: The Walpole Society," Maine Antique Digest, February 2016. Part IV of V. A history of an exclusive collector club.
"Good Fellows: The Walpole Society," Maine Antique Digest, January 2016. Part III of V. A history of an exclusive collector club.
"Good Fellows: The Walpole Society," Maine Antique Digest, December 2015. Part II of V. A history of an exclusive collector club.
"Good Fellows: The Walpole Society," Maine Antique Digest, November 2015. Part I of V. A history of an exclusive collector club.
"Manuscript Book by Furniture Maker, Mormons, and More at Americana Sale," Maine Antique Digest, December 2015.
"Crystal Bridges Buys Top Lot at Sale of Maya Angelou Art Collection," Maine Antique Digest, December 2015.
"Made in the Americas," Maine Antique Digest, November 2015. Review of exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
"Agnes Martin's Blue Flower Makes a Cool $1.5 Million," Maine Antique Digest, August 2015.
"Hot Prices for Barkley Hendricks’s Cool Portraits and Norman Lewis’s Abstractions," Maine Antique Digest, July 2015.
"Maine is for [Art] Lovers," Fine Art Connoisseur, July-August 2015.
"Ambrotype of Runaway Slave and Other Photos Highlight African-Americana Sale," Maine Antique Digest, June 2015.
“Today’s Masters: Con Artists: Three Trompe L’Oeil Painters,” Fine Art Connoisseur, May-June 2014.
“Lillie Bliss and Arthur B. Davies: The Collector and Her Advisor,” Fine Art Connoisseur, September-October 2013.
"How Auctions Really Work," Art New England, July-August 2011.
"Bidders Check Out Copley's Library," San Diego Reader, June 29, 2011. On Sotheby's multi-part sale of the James S. Copley Library.
"Historic Papers in the Wind," San Diego Reader, April 28, 2010. More on the Copley Library sale.
"Returning to His First Love," Art New England, March-April 2011. Profile of art collector John P. Axelrod.
“Good Enough to Eat,” Gastronomica, Fall 2010. Essay about a visit with a faux-food collector, novelist Mameve Medwed. [$]
“Rare,” Gastronomica, Winter 2009. About a rare book dealer’s copy of The Art of Gastronomy by Jay Jacobs that has a disturbing associational value. [$]
“The Walpole Society Goes to Dinner,” Gastronomica, Fall 2008. About a period dinner enjoyed by the exclusive club of collectors in 1946. [$] (Reprinted in The Walpole Society's Note Book 2013.)
“Good Breeding: British Livestock Portraits, 1780-1900,” Gastronomica, Summer 2006. [$]
“A Taste for Menus: Henry Voigt Touches History,” Gastronomica, Fall 2005. [$]
“The Clockwork Roasting Jack, or How Technology Entered the Kitchen,” Gastronomica, Winter 2004. [$] Reprinted in The Gastronomica Reader (2010).
"The Artful Dodger," Boston Magazine, June 2005. On the capture of an art forger/former Harvard-affiliated physician, in L.A.
“The Bidding War,” Boston Magazine, October 2004. Inside Boston’s auction world.
“Shelf Life,” Gastronomica, Winter 2002. Venerable food collections – why people save old food. [$]
“He's Sad for Ships,” San Diego Reader, December 19, 2002. Profile of self-taught marine artist Richard de Rosset.
“‘Deviled Ham Untouched by Human Hands’: Food-Related Vintage Stereoviews,” Gastronomica, Fall 2002. [$]
"Murdock & Martha," San Diego Reader, May 30, 2002. On the ethics of disposing of family photos, one's own and others'.
“Bright Eye,” San Diego Reader, May 3, 2001. Profile of Museum of Photographic Arts director Arthur Ollman.
“Raptured,” San Diego Reader, April 19, 2001. Profile of George E. Lewis, experimental composer and trombonist, named MacArthur fellow a year after this mini-biography was published.
"The Doctor or the Dancer," New England Review, Fall 2000. On artist Arthur B. Davies's double life, which included two simultaneous wives.
“Farewell, Worshipful Objects,” San Diego Reader, August 10, 2000. Profile of conductor/composer/musician Rand Steiger.
“What the Ears Love,” San Diego Reader, April 27, 2000. The lives of audiophiles.
"Shooting Blind," Antioch Review, Winter 2000. On vernacular photography, on seeing, and on blindness literal or otherwise.
“The Palace of Green Porcelain,” The Michigan Quarterly Review, Summer 2002, special issue on The Secret Spaces of Childhood, edited by Elizabeth Goodenough. Reprinted in Where Do the Children Play? (2007) About museums.
“The Bedridden Artist,” DoubleTake, Winter 2001. Essay on the unusually large number of successful artists who were ill as children. Reprinted in The UTNE Reader, May/June 2001.
“Obscure Objects of Lapsed Desire,” Atlantic Monthly, December 2000. Essay on the challenge of disposing of my in-laws' art collection.
“Making Peace with Cuckoo Clocks,” Shenandoah, Fall 2000.
“Ralph Fasanella: The Guy in the Street,” DoubleTake, Winter 2000. Profile of the late folk artist.
“San Diego in 3-D,” San Diego Reader, October 14, 1999. Reporter-at-large piece on the 3-D photography and film scene in San Diego and environs.
“No Clocks in the Forest,” San Diego Reader, May 6, 1999. On the public clocks of San Diego County.
“Attention, the Universe,” Johns Hopkins Magazine, November 1998. Essay on the usefulness of art and artists.
“The Wallpaper Museum,” Southwest Review, Spring 1999. Autobiographical essay on the aesthetics of wallpaper. McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Non-Fiction, honorable mention.
“Murder on Tick Tock Lane,” Yankee Magazine, September 1997. Feature article about clockmaker Elmer O. Stennes, who killed his wife, was sent to prison, and made clocks there. Widely reprinted.
“Postcard Picasso: The Art of the Reproduction,” Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 1996. Essay in praise of art reproductions and their influence.
“For Posterity,” The Boston Globe Magazine, October 19, 1986. Feature on the Northeast Documents Conservation Center -- conservators of artworks on paper.
“Reading, or a club of one,” The Christian Science Monitor, October 16, 1986. Essay on the rise and fall of a book club.
“Bids and Pieces,” The Boston Globe Magazine, April 6, 1986. Feature on Skinner Inc., the auction house.
"In favor of diaries -- or am I?" The Christian Science Monitor, May 28, 1985.
"Words into Movies: The Tin Drum and The Left-Handed Woman." Cimarron Review, Spring 1981.
"Drummers Days and Nights: The Traveling Sales Agent in the American West," The American West: The Magazine of Western History, March/April 1978.
"Rainmakers: Early-Day Weather Salesmen in the American West," The American West: The Magazine of Western History, July/August 1977.
“Where Weaving is a Way of Life,” Smithsonian, October 1975. A visit with a Ghanaian weaver of kente cloth.
Selected articles from Maine Antique Digest (2003-to the present):
"A New Location for Chelsea Clock Company and a Second Edition of its History."
"Gold Rush' at Printed & Manuscript Americana Sale."
"Susan Jaffe Tane: From Collector to Curator."
"Quadricentennial of Captain John Smith's Landing on Monhegan Island, Maine."
"Final Single-Owner Historic-Documents Auction is 'White Glove' Sale."
"Sold: Copy of the Law that Made the Dollar Almighty."
"The New York Book Fair: 'The Jewel in the Crown.'"
"Clocks and Cannonballs."
“MFA Boston Acquires Cuban Chest for Art of the Americas Wing.”
“After the Hunt: The Trompe L’Oeil Art of David Brega.”
“Dealer-Auctioneer Cille Blackwood’s Papers Go to Harvard.”
"The Sacred and the Profane at Books and Manuscripts Sale."
"Rock Solid Results for Norman Rockwell and Others."
"Shadows Uplifted: A 'Curated' African-American Art Sale."
"Photography Steals the Show at Books & Manuscripts Sale."
"Printed and Manuscript Americana: Maps, Memoirs, and Mug Shots"
"Importer/Dealer of French Décor Says, 'Ça Suffit!'”
A “Perfect” Clock & a Bright Red Ferrari"
"Middle Market Reasserts its Presence."
"Steam Locomotive Photography Leads Ephemera Sale."
"The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections."
“The Elli Buk Sale: ‘Auction of the Contents of the World.’”
“New Thoughts on Old Things: Four Centuries of Furnishing the Northeast.”
"More than Blue and Gray: 'The Civil War and American Art.'"
“Francis Crick’s ‘Secret of Life’ Letter Sells for Record $6.05 Million.”
“Making Art Out of War: ‘Photography and the American Civil War.’”_
“Pryor Dodge: The Bicycling Collector.”
"First Newspaper Printing of Declaration of Independence Sells for Record $632,500."
“Maurice Sendak: Where the Wild Things Were."
“Rebel Collector Embraces ‘Loisaida’ & Graffiti Art.”
“Down the Rabbit Hole with Lewis Carroll Collectors."
“Matthew R. Isenburg Photography Collection Sells Privately for $15 Million.”“Stories of Three Collections: Key West, Jack London, and Bookends.”
“Rare Books in the Big Apple.”
"Marilyn Monroe Trumps Everyone in Documents Sale."
“Conquistadors and Cowboys Sell at Swann.”
“Ira Hudson Decoys Lead Sporting Art Sale.”
“New Wing at Boston Museum: Worth a Trip from Anywhere.”
“Copley Fine Art Auctions Combines Canvasbacks and Canvases.”
“Daguerreian Society Benefit Auction Breaks Records; Mystery of ‘Daguerreian Holy Grail’ Revealed at Lecture.”
“Dog Portrait and Crowell Black Duck Lead O’Brien’s $3.2 Million Sale.”
"Connecticut Valley Furniture: More Than 14 Years of Research Finally Bears Its Fruit: Connecticut Valley Furniture by Eliphalet Chapin and His Contemporaries, 1750-1800 by Thomas P. Kugleman, Alice K. Kugelman, and Robert Lionetti."
“The Estate of Reverend Peter J. Gomes, Unrepentant Collector.”
“Curtis’s North American Indian Sets Record at Nebenzahl Library Sale.”
“First of Multi-Part, Single-Owner Historical Documents Sale Achieves $6 Million.”
“The Green Family Auction: No String Too Short Not to Be Saved”
"Chief’s Blanket is Winner while Pre-Columbian Lots are Withdrawn."
"N.C. Wyeth Illustration and Other Fresh Works Bring $2.5 Million Plus."
"Skinner Sells Unprecedented Horological-Tool Collection."
“The Mao Market.”
“Dr. Werner Muensterberger’s African Art Collection.”
“Wrestler ‘Killer’ Kowalski’s Estate, Down for the Count.”
“Edward Gorey Glory.”
“Four Artists in Search of Found Objects.”
"Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War."“Rare Constitutional Convention Notebooks Acquired for New-York Historical Society.”
“Postcards from the Edge.”
"Clock Rarities & Holtzapffel Lathe Lead $1.2 Million Sale."
"Turn, Turn, Turn: Holtzapffel Rose Engine Lathe Brings Record $228,000."
“Books in Beantown.”
"New Wing at Boston's Gardner Museum Opens."
"Royka Sells Artist Bernard Corey's Estate."
"Civil War Collection is Sold on Anniversary of Lee's Surrender."
"Art for Sale at the Bruce Museum."
“Samuel McIntire: Carving an American Style.”
"Provenance and the 'Granny Notes' Factor."
“Antiques + Contemporary Technology = Steampunk."
“Miss Edgerton’s Ye Colonial Shoppe: Or, Women in the Trade,” Part 1
"Miss Egerton's Ye Colonial Shoppe: Or, Women in the Trade," Part 2.
“Iconic Paper: Basketball Rules, Dylan Lyrics, and Emancipation Proclamation.”
“Auction for a New World.”
“In The Land of Oziana.”
"Skinner Sci-Tech: Guns, Germs & Wheels."
“Diane Arbus Auction at Phillips Cancelled; Lawsuit Pending”
“The Art of Woodcarving in America: A Symposium.”
"Icon of American Horology Sells for $539,500."
“Button, Button: Gwinnett Letter Sells for $722,500.”
“Chelsea Clock Company Changes Ownership and Collectors Take Notice.”
“Rare Poe Materials Sell Via Private Treaty and Benefit Auction.”
“Rare Hemingway Items Sell for Record Prices at Swann.”
“Gastronomic Lit Sales: Recipe for Success.”
“Polar Books: Cold is Hot at Swann.”
“The Collector Within: Joseph Cornell.”
"A Cropsey at the Top and Then All the Rest."
"Buyer with Spare $20 Million Sought for The Complete History of Photography."
“First Ever African-American Art Auction Sets 17 Artist Records.”
“Israel Sack and the Lost Traders of Lowell Street.”
“Americana @ The Piers: Their Ships Came In.”
“Taking Stock: Five Art Galleries Adapt to a Changing Market.”
"Early Photography at Americana Sale Soars."
“Buyer with Spare $20 Million Sought for Complete History of Photography.”
"Frank Siebert’s Native American Artifacts Go on the Block."
“Miami Heat: Florida Paintings Set Records.”
"Tribal Arts: Yard-Sale Iroquois Moccasins, $10,575; Eskimo Snow Goggles; and More."
"A Beautiful Portrait and a Brainy Clock Sell Best at Americana Sale."
"Twentieth-Century Sale: Back to the Future."
"Chinese Jades, Appraised on ‘Roadshow,’ Evade Million-Dollar Mark."
"Gifford Painting of Union Soldiers in Prayer Fetches $831,000."
‘You’re a Good Man, Frank Stanton’: Skinner Sells Snoopy."
"Treasures Great and Small: Portsmouth Furniture and a Dwarf Clock."
"Tribal Arts Sale’s Star: An Early Big-Horn Sheepskin War Shirt."
“Provenance and the ‘Granny Note’ Factor.”"Miami Heat: Florida Paintings Set Records."
"Still Lifes by Peto and (Maybe) Coorte Steal the Show“
"Thoreau Pencils and Other Rarities Sell at Royka’s.”
"At Summer Americana Sale, Market Exhibits an Irregular Pulse."
"A Boy’s Portrait and an Auto Weathervane Drive $4.1 Million Americana Sale."
"Plains Pictographs Among Top Lots at Spotty Tribal Arts Sale."
“Scholars and Dollars: Scrimshaw Collectors’ Weekend."
“Vintage Menus: A Feeding Frenzy.” On the state of the growing market for menu ephemera and report on recent eBay sales.
“Former Harvard Medical School Professor Convicted of Attempted Grand Larceny in L.A.”
“The Hawaiiana Market: Surf’s Up.”
“The Chair that Made the Nation.”
"Warts & All: Identifying Famous People in Vintage Photography."
“Slave Poet’s Letter Breaks Record at Swann.”
“Roadshow Warriors: A Retrospective, 1996-2006.”
“What Keeps eBay Up at Night.”
“Museum Shows and the Market: Two Art Deco Examples.”
“Time is Money at Sotheby’s: Masterpieces from the Time Museum.”
“Rhode Island Clockmaking: From Claggett to Durfee."
Selected periodical non-fiction about food:
“Remembering Dione Lucas,” Gastronomica, Winter 2011. Before there was Julia Child, there was Dione Lucas -- on 1940s-1950s TV. [$]
“A Beriberi Heart: Lessons from Slave Soldiers of World War II,” Gastronomica, Fall 2009. [$]
“‘Tis the Seasoning: How One Woman’s Bay Laurel Flavors Her Cooking and Even Her Christmas,” The Washington Post, December 20, 1998. Article about my 15-year-old bay-laurel tree, six feet tall. (Bought when it was six inches tall.)
“Pounded,” The Boston Globe, September 2, 1998. Beaten biscuits, et al.
“Think Thin (Fat Chance),” The Nation, November 3, 1997. Essay-review of nine books on dieting and eating disorders, including novels, memoirs, how-to's, and scholarly works.
“Dinner Roles,” The Women's Review of Books, October 1992. Essay on the then-new scholarly discipline of culinary history.
“The Art of Eating Words,” The Yale Review, Spring 1990. On the literary aspects of cookbooks.
[Untitled essay on writing about food in one's diary], American Wine and Food, June 1987.
[Untitled literary essay about eggs], American Wine and Food, February 1987.
“Balancing Act: Hot Offsets Cold in the World of Yin Yang,” The Washington Post, February 2, 1986. On the mystical properties of food, as perceived by Asians and others.
“For Prince, Today is the Day: How a Successful Spaghetti Maker Claimed Wednesday As Its Own,” The Washington Post, November 6, 1985. On the Lowell, Massachusetts, pasta factory and the three generations who built it.
“A Dinner for the Ages, and for The Scholars: Three-Day Boston Conference Stresses Food for Thought,” The Washington Post, June 23, 1985. On the Culinary Historians of Boston.
“Whetting One's Taste for History: The Cuisines of the Ages Satisfy the Appetites of Culinary Scholars,” The Washington Post, March 24, 1985. More about the Culinary Historians of Boston.
“Bread is the Whole (Grain) Story: Columbia Union College's Philosophy of Baking,” The Washington Post, February 12, 1984. On the Seventh-Day Adventists' bread bakery in Takoma Park, MD, their “Vatican City.”
“The Performance That Takes The Cake: A Recipe from the Belle of Amherst,” The Washington Post, January 29, 1984. On Emily Dickinson's black cake.
“I Wanted to Meet My Uncle and Learn the Secrets of His Last 100 Years,” The Washington Post, June 20, 1982. Essay about my 100-year-old great uncle, Zio Duce, and what he ate and drank.
“Is Our Diet Driving Us Crazy?” The Progressive, May 1978. An exploration of the link between diet and mental health.
Selected periodical non-fiction on various other subjects:
“H is for Hacker,” San Diego Reader, June 19, 2003. Reporter-at-large at a hacker convention.
"Too Close For Comfort," San Diego Reader, April 10, 2003. On the questionable safety of San Diego's Coronado neighborhood, home of a U.S. Navy base.
“Slave Soldiers,” San Diego Reader, Mar. 13, 2003. On WWII vets suing Japanese corporations over forced labor.
“Hussey’s Pond,” DoubleTake, Winter 2002. Essay on the life cycle of a small body of water across the street from where I live.
"How Do You Like My Moonscape?" San Diego Reader, October 17, 2002. Report on a visit to San Diego County after a devastating fire.
"Birds Squared," San Diego Reader, July 11, 2002. Reporter-at-large with the San Diego Bird Atlas Project.
“Desperately Seeking Blondie: Machines That Think (Better Than You Do),” San Diego Reader, May 23, 2002. On a whole family of artificial intelligencers.
"The Last Tag Sale," San Diego Reader, June 15, 2000. Reprinted in Witness. A Father's Day story.
“Doctor Ramachandran's Artful Brain,” San Diego Reader, July 15, 1999. Profile of an internationally acclaimed brain scientist.
“Greenwich Beach Time,” DoubleTake, Summer 1997. Essay on the beach-access law suit pending in Greenwich, CT.
“The Lover of Libraries,” Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 1996. Essay on the library experiences of my youth and beyond.
“Revelations of a reader on the outside looking inward,” My Back Pages, Books, The Boston Sunday Globe, February 4, 1996. Essay about the theme of class in literature.
“Stifling the cat's meow,” The Women's Review of Books, September 1993. Essay about why I decided not to edit an anthology of cat stories, after my successful dog-story anthology.
“A Sad Chapter for Libraries,” The Boston Globe, August 15, 1993. Financial difficulties of Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, Massachusetts (despite the fact that John Updike sometimes hangs out there).
“Produced and Abandoned: Writers and their Early Efforts,” The Washington Post Book World, July 5, 1992. Essay on writers who have disowned their published books.
“Backtalk,” Poets & Writers, July/August 1990. On the pros and cons of responding publicly to bad reviews.
“Private Lives” The Boston Globe Magazine, November 8, 1987. On why we keep diaries.
“The Belles of St. Mary's: Coming to Terms with a Catholic Education,” The Boston Globe Magazine, February 2, 1986. Essay on my experiences at parochial school.
“A Puzzle of Historic Proportions,” The Christian Science Monitor, August 20, 1985. On getting lost in a British garden hedge maze.
"On Keeping Track With a Garden Journal," The New York Times, June 16, 1985.
"Facts of Fiction," The Washington Post, February 21, 1984. For the newspaper's "Firsthand" column, a piece about the process of submitting fiction to literary magazines, including an account of the acceptance of my first short story, by Joyce Carol Oates.
“Progress on Alcohol Fuels,” The Progressive, July 1978. Followup on my first piece on the same subject (cited below).
“Alcohol for Fuel,” The Progressive, November 1977. One of the very first, if not the first, news stories about this alternative to gasoline.
“The Breathless Cotton Workers,” The Progressive, August 1977.
“Methadone and Motherhood,” The Progressive, March 1977.
"How the Police Play Favorite Neighborhoods," Washington Newsworks, February 26-March 3, 1976.
"The Checkered Past of an Abandoned Gas Station," The Washington Post, February 19, 1976. Observations on the comings and goings at the property next door to my apartment in Georgetown.
"The Autobiographies of Mark Twain and Henry Adams: Life Studies in Despair," The Mark Twain Journal, Summer 1975.
Selected short stories:
"The Blue Heron," Western Humanities Review, Spring 1998.
"The House Nun: A Tale," Virginia Quarterly Review, Autumn 1992.
"Outings," Boulevard, Spring 1991.
"Cautionary Verses for Children," Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 1991.
"Speaking on Condition of Anonymity," Southwest Review, Spring 1991.
“The Disappearance,” The Yale Review, Spring 1988. Reprinted in Imagining America: Stories from the Promised Land, (New York, NY: Persea Books, 1991).
“Before Sewing One Must Cut,” New England Review/Breadloaf Quarterly, Winter 1988. Reprinted in Catholic Girls (New York, NY: Plume, 1992)
"Mother Tongue," Threepenny Review, Summer 1987.
“The Hard Hearts of the Poor,” The Boston Globe Magazine, July 26, 1987.
“The Motorcycle Riders,” The Ontario Review, Fall-Winter 1987-88.
“Shadow Bands,” The Ontario Review, Fall-Winter 1985-86. Reprinted in The Ways We Live Now (Princeton, NJ: Ontario Review Press, 1986).
“Why a Man Seen at a Certain Distance Cannot Be Recognized,” Quarterly West, Fall-Winter 1984-85. Distinguished Mention, Best American Short Stories 1986.
“The Friendships of Girls Unpopular Together,” The Ontario Review, Fall-Winter 1984-85 Reprinted in You Don't Know What Love Is (Princeton, NJ: Ontario Review Press, 1987).
“The Ring: Or, A Girl Confesses,” The Greensboro Review, Winter 1984-85. Distinguished Mention, Best American Short Stories 1986.
“Caddies' Day,” The Greensboro Review, Winter 1982-83. Reprinted in Best American Short Stories 1984, edited by John Updike, and in Perfect Lies: A Century of Great Golf Stories (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1989)
“Mr. Swint,” Ascent, Winter 1982. Distinguished Mention, Best American Short Stories 1983.
“The Original Dog,” The Ontario Review, Spring/Summer 1979. Distinguished Mention, Best American Short Stories 1980.
Selected book reviews:
Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, From Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee by Bee Wilson, Gastronomica, Summer 2010.
American Wall Stenciling 1790-1840 by Ann Eckert Brown, American Studies International, June-October 2004.
Living it Up: Our Love Affair with Luxury by James B. Twitchell, American Studies International, February 2003.
"The Original Rosie," review of Rosie's Mom: Forgotten Women Workers of the First World War, The Women's Review of Books, June 2003.
Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876-1926 by Steven Conn, American Studies International, June 2002.
"When Charles Met Alice," review of Still She Haunts Me by Katie Roiphe, The Women's Review of Books, October 2001.
"Vanishing Acts," review of Francesca Woodman, photography, The Women's Review of Books, January 1999.
"In the Global Gulag," review of Too Much Time: Women in Prison by Jane Evelyn Atwood, The Women's Review of Books, November 2000.
"Making Much of Little," review of Angela the Upside-Down Girl by Emily Hiestand, The Boston Sunday Globe, July 5, 1998.
"Different from Us," review of Photographs: Theater of Manners by Tina Barney and A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living with HIV by Mary Berridge, The Women's Review of Books, June 1998.
"Think Thin (Fat Chance)," review of multiple diet books, The Nation, November 3, 1997.
"Object Lessons," review of Glass, Papers, Beans by Leah Hager Cohen, The New York Times Book Review, February 9, 1997.
“A Brilliant, Doomed Man of Letters,” The Boston Globe, December 15, 1996. I.e., Isaac Babel.
Vietnamerica: The War Comes Home by Thomas A. Bass, The Nation, April 22, 1996.
“Finding Ourselves in the 20s,” review of Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s by Ann Douglas, The Boston Globe, February 19, 1995.
"On the Rink of Disaster," review of Women on Ice: Feminist Essays on the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Spectacle edited by Cynthia Bauman and Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters by Joan Ryan, The Women's Review of Books, December 1995.
"The War at Home," review of If the Tiger by Terry Farish, The Women's Review of Books, July 1995.
Hearts on Fire: The Story of the Maryknoll Sisters by Penny Lernoux, The Nation, May 9, 1994.
"Factory Fictions," review of Call the Darkness Light by Nancy Zaroulis, The Women's Review of Books, July 1994.
“Finding Ourselves in the 20s,” review of Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s by Ann Douglas, The Boston Globe, February 19, 1995.
"Narrow World of Sports," review of nearly a dozen books about female tennis stars, The Women's Review of Books, February 1994.
"Dinner Roles," review of What Cooks in Suburbia by Lila Perl; Cakes Men like: 50 Fun-Filled Recipes by Benjamin Darling; Helpful Hints for Housewives! A Treasury for the Model Homemaker by Benjamin Darling; Neighboring on the Air: Cooking with the KMA Radio Homemakers by Evelyn Birkby; The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection by Karen Hess; The Carolina Housewife, or House and Home: By a Lady of Charleston by Sarah Rutledge, Anna Wells Rutledge, The Women's Review of Books, October 1992.
"Escape and Exile," review of Fugitive Spring: A Memoir by Deborah Digges and Shared Lives: A Memoir by Lyndall Gordon, The Women's Review of Books, July 1992.
Selected book reviews from Maine Antique Digest (2003-2017):
Possession: The Curious History of Private Collectors from Antiquity to the Present by Erin L. Thompson. (See p. 2 of link.)
A Force for Change: African American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund edited and with an introduction by Daniel Schulman.
An Observant Eye: The Thoreau Collection at the Concord Museum by David F. Wood.
Birds in Wood and Paint: American Miniature Bird Carvings and Their Carvers, 1900-1970 by Joseph H. Ellis.
C.F.A. Voysey: Architect, Designer, Individualist by Anne Stewart O’Donnell.
Chelsea Clock Company: The First Hundred Years by Andrew and David Demeter
Classic Modern: The Art Worlds of Joseph Pulitzer Jr. by Marjorie B. Cohn.
Clockmakers and Clockmaking in Maine 1770-1900 by Joseph R. Katra Jr.
Pennsylvania Shelf and Bracket Clocks 1750-1850 by Edward F. LaFond Jr. and J. Carter Harris.
Connecticut’s Fife & Drum Tradition by James Clark.
Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History by William Woys Weaver.
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan.
Everything You Know about Indians is Wrong by Paul Chaat Smith.
Fake: Forgery, Lies & eBay by Kenneth Walton.
Fifty Years of Time: The First 50 Years of the American Clock & Watch Museum by Chris H. Bailey.
Fitz H. Lane: An Artist’s Voyage through Nineteenth-Century America by James A. Craig.
Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America by Jennifer L. Anderson.
Massachusetts Quilts: Our Common Wealth edited by Lynne Zacek Bassett.
Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art edited by Cornelia Butler and Alexandra Schwartz.
Moving Rooms: The Trade in Architectural Salvages by John Harris.
Museum of the Missing: A History of Art Theft by Simon Houpt.
Musical Machines and Living Dolls: The Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata by Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier.
Folk Art Murals of the Rufus Porter School: New England Landscapes 1825-1845 by Linda Carter Lefko & Jane E. Radcliffe.
Sargent’s Daughters: The Biography of a Painting by Erica E. Hirshler.
Stretch: America’s First Family of Clockmakers by Donald L. Fennimore and Frank L. Hohmann III.
The Saturday Evening Girls Paul Revere Pottery by Meg Chalmers and Judy Young.
From Shaker Lands and Shaker Hands: A Survey of the Industries by M. Stephen Miller.
Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum by Stuart M. Frank.
The Art of Aiden Lassell Ripley by Stephen B. O’Brien Jr. and Julie Carlson Wildfeuer.
The Error World: An Affair with Stamps by Simon Garfield.
The Connoisseur by Evan S. Connell Jr.
The Expert Versus the Object: Judging Fakes and False Attributions in the Visual Arts edited by Ronald D. Spencer.
The Girl with the Gallery: Edith Gregor Halpert and the Making of the Modern Art Market by Lindsay Pollock.
The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meergeren by Jonathan Lopez.
The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws by Margaret Drabble.
Windsor-Chair Making in America: From Craft to Consumer by Nancy Goyne Evans.
"Stalker," Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs (NY: Crown, 1995).
"Relaxation Techniques," Merrimack: A Poetry Anthology (Lowell, MA: Loom Press, 1992).
"Earth Walk," The Christian Science Monitor, April 10, 1985.