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Stories from the Times

From Brooklyn and the World

Whether investigating a long-ago crime in the neighborhood where I grew up, or examining why a supposedly upbeat movie is actually terrifying, or recounting comic travel episodes with my children, I've used the material of life for high-charting, engaging stories. 


March 2013

I was 7 years old and lived four blocks away, on St. Johns Place. My mother came into the kitchen that day or the next, her hands shaking. “Wendell,” she said, “Whenever you answer the door, never go out to the gate until you know who is there. Always look through the window of the inside door. Because you know what happened? This little boy on President Street answered the door, and this crazy man poured acid on his head.”


December 2008

Lots of people love this movie of course. But I’m convinced it’s for the wrong reasons. Because to me “It’s a Wonderful Life” is anything but a cheery holiday tale. Sitting in that dark public high school classroom, I shuddered as the projector whirred and George Bailey’s life unspooled.

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