Everyone shared touching stories and asked great questions about their own struggles with loss and grief at last nights conversation series at the 92Y. I was incredibly inspired by the discussions that took place. Many thanks to those who could attend, and in case you missed it here are some pics of the evening’s event.
Edward Hopper, that most American of artists: girlie shows, movie theaters, gas stations at night, that famous diner, strangers glimpsed in windows, the lonely streets, landscapes filled with yearning. Despite the isolation, or because of it, Hopper strikes a chord, touches us, draws us in. His subjects inhabit a world constructed entirely by the artist: lost in thought, still yet searching, his couples sit, stand, recline, sometimes side by side but never quite connected, the artist a master of isolation. I felt compelled to make drawings, this one of the artist and a few of his paintings. At first they were going to be two-minute sketches, but Hopper took hold of me and my pencil just kept going. I even added a touch of color. Of course Hopper is always about light and shadow, which brings me to the book, “In Sunlight or In Shadow, Stories Inspired By the Paintings of Edward Hopper,” brainchild of the legendary crime fiction writer, Lawrence Block, … Read more
Dear friends, It’s been a long time since I have written anything on my website and I apologize. It was a necessary break for personal reasons. But I have been working and will tell you just a few of things I’ve been up to. For the moment I have put aside the book I’d been working on for well over a year, a story about a cop who lost his family, a novel based in part on “Crime & Punishment.” The book was finished but not resolved and it needed time to percolate, so hopefully it’s doing just that while I work on other things. I’ve been thinking… That people often say a writer’s characters are variations of his or herself and I used to agree. Now, I’m not so sure. One’s art—writing, painting, music—is of course always a reflection of the person who made it. But the characters one creates on the page can … Read more
People often ask me why I choose to write crime fiction and I say it’s because it encompasses all the big human emotions – love, hate, greed, revenge, fear — as well as the basic moral questions of good and evil, and that’s more than enough for me. When people say, “I don’t read crime fiction at all,” as if they would not deign to waste their time or intelligence on something so trivial and clearly beneath them (it’s interesting to note that they have no problem saying this to me, a crime fiction writer), I say, “So, you’ve never read Crime & Punishment or An American Tragedy or Lolita or Poe or Chandler or Hammett or contemporary novels like Donna Tartt’s The Secret History or Richard Ford’s Canada or almost anything by Joyce Carol Oates, the “literary” list of crime fiction novels goes on and on. Frankly, I’m hard pressed to think of a … Read more
I was honored when Joyce Carol Oates invited me to contribute a story for this collection of noir tales. The first thing she asked was, “Do you have a connection to New Jersey?” and I do. For one, I am married to a Jersey girl. And two, after graduate school I rented a studio in Hoboken (Frank Sinatra’s home town) and lived there for many years. That studio plays a part in the story that I wrote for this anthology, “Lola,” which is one of my favorite stories.