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Whoopi Goldberg

When Words Are Not Enough: Finding Rainbows in the Midst of Tragedy

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It is very disheartening to turn on the news or log onto social media to find that there is yet another tragedy in the world. It seems like when we just enter the healing phase from the last one, there isn’t even time to catch one’s breath before a new one surfaces and we begin the cycle again. After each of these, I turn to literature and some of my favorite books to put things into perspective.  Perspective is not acceptance— I will never be able to accept incidents like what happened yesterday in Sutherland Springs, TX.  Like Marvin Gaye says in one of my favorite songs, “Makes me wanna holler, throw up both my hands.” When I feel this…

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20th Anniv. CLARA’S HEART. Grace Paley was delighted to hear I’d sold my book.

in Nonfiction by

by Joseph Olshan When I was in my twenties I lived in Manhattan on a stretch of West 11th Street informally named Writers’ Block. The novelist Donald Barthelme lived there, as did playwright Israel Horovitz, and perhaps most prominently, Grace Paley, who in those years was still commuting back and forth between Thetford and Manhattan. I rarely saw Barthelme, but I often ran into Grace Paley, a neighborhood darling, motherly with her bun of steel-hued hair, dark fiery eyes, direct and forthcoming without a hint of pretense. If you didn’t recognize her as one of the preeminent short story writers of the late 20th century you might have assumed that, in one of her ankle-length paisley dresses, she was one…

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