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Remembrances

Joan Rivers: The tart-tongued trailblazer was also a bestselling author

in Potpourri by

Joan Rivers was bawdy, obnoxious, loud, sometimes crude, and always irreverent. Love her or hate her, no one can deny she was a true original. With her acerbic wit and signature New Yawker raspy voice, she pushed the boundaries of comedy like no other female comic before her or since, and opened doors for others like Roseanne Barr, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Silverman and Kathy Griffin. The iconic comedienne, actress, writer, director and talk show host, who was also a bestselling author, passed away on September 4 in New York City at the age of 81. From her first appearance in 1965 on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, to her last stand-up gig the night before she went into cardiac…

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Pressing on after the Holocaust: In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen

in Fiction by

As a pre-teen, I went through a phase where I read every novel I could about the Holocaust. Late at night I would hide under my blanket with a flashlight, pouring over the devastating details of ghettos and death camps, devouring stories about young girls like me facing an evil that seemed so impossible when compared to my modern, American, middle-class life. In eighth grade I remember visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, ignoring the signs that read “Do Not Touch,” and running my fingers along the inside of a boxcar—on loan from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Poland—thinking that it was somehow important to touch the rough wood, that I was paying tribute to the people who had…

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