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"Trouble In Mind" and amnesia

I sent my completed manuscript for “Trouble In Mind” off to my OUP editor in New York this week, so now I can get back to my fiction writing, at least until my editor returns it with her editing suggestions. Hopefully there won’t be too much revising to do. The planned publication date is December this year, which is not that far away.  Read More 
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'Quakes & Nuclear Power

It is nearing the end of March and the variable weather of early Autumn is with us; but this far north the sea is still warm enough to swim in and the days still warm enough to want to. The past few weeks have been horrific for first Christchurch, and then Japan. The triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and potential nuclear disaster in Japan dwarf the Christchurch earthquake by several thousand times,  Read More 
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Year of the Rabbit

On a more cheerful note, here on the island, where all is well and we got only a slightly higher tide following the Japan tsunami, there has been a lot of feasting. This invariably happens in the summer months as friends arrive to enjoy the peace and beauty of our bush and beaches, catch fish, and enjoy the simple pleasures of sharing fabulous food and wine, usually seated around a big table on the deck of a beach house overlooking the sea or bush. A few weeks ago – just before the Christchurch earthquake – a Chinese friend visited us with her mother and prepared an amazing and delicious nine course meal for the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Rabbit – for 12 of our friends.  Read More 
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Vermont, Maine and South of Broad!

I recently bought Chris Bohjalian’s novel, “The Double Bind (Vintage Contemporaries),” published in 2007, because I really liked the two other books of his I had read, “Midwives,” and “Skeleton at the Feast.” “The Double Bind” ostensibly refers to an outdated theory about the ‘cause’ of schizophrenia that was popular when I was a clinical student back in the early 1980s. Gregory Bateson postulated that children who were consistently put into a ‘double bind’ by being given contradictory messages by their parents – such as being told by their parent that they loved them whilst simultaneously being pushed away or abused – resulted in the child retreating to an unreal world as a coping mechanism. Schizophrenia is a theme in this unusual book, set in Vermont, but there is very little one can reveal about the plot without giving away too much.  Read More 
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Truth and Beauty and Books

This past month has been a continuation of high summer for us and we’ve had lots of visitors, good food, good company and good reading! I read three books well worth writing about; all have been in my library for a while and two I have read before but felt the urge to read again. That is the pleasure of a good library -- with actual books made of paper – browsing and finding books purchased years ago and not yet read or books read years ago and perhaps almost forgotten about, beckoning to be read again. I know it is possible to browse an e-reader, but I’ve yet to embrace such a radical shift. Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel
falls into the first category; I purchased it not long after it was published in 2005 but for some reason – too many other books intruding perhaps – I hadn’t read it in spite of wonderful reviews. The reviews were correct; it is a wonderful and unexpected book!  Read More 
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