"First, I'll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later."
So begins Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard's Ford's latest novel, Canada.
The story is narrated by retired school teacher Dell Parsons as he looks back on the tumult that ensued when his parents — two unlikely criminals — find themselves in a financial bind and haphazardly hold up a small-town bank.
It's part of his job as a writer, Ford says, to set the unexpected into motion.
A writer, illustrator and provocateur in the Roaring '20s, Djuna Barnes stood out.
"She was much more interested in embracing the quirky and embracing that idea that became so famous in feminist circles half a century later," Catherine Morris says, "the idea that the personal is political."
Morris is the curator of a new exhibition of Barnes' writings and illustrations called "Newspaper Fictions" at the Brooklyn Museum's Sackler Center for Feminist Art.
My father, like many who raised kids in the 1960s and '70s, would never have thought to reach for a book on parenting. No matter how engaged he was in our lives, he always deferred to "the expert" — our mom. These days, however, it seems more and more fathers are writing books about fatherhood, and this year the sheer number of them suggests a generational watershed.
When Mark Shriver's father died last year at the age of 95, it seemed that everyone who knew him — politicians, priests, waitresses, presidents and trash collectors — used the same phrase to tell him what they had thought of his father. He was "a good man."
A Good Man is also the title of Shriver's new memoir about his father, R. Sargent Shriver. The elder Shriver, who once ran for president, ran the War on Poverty, the Peace Corps, Job Corps and the Special Olympics. On top of that, he was U.S. ambassador to France and married into the Kennedy family.