A Builder Or a Wrecker

I didn’t see the famously weepy Boehner get emotional during our time together, with one exception. The night of the golf outing, Ed tells me that toward the very end of Boehner’s speakership he called his friend to share a poem called “Builder or Wrecker.” Debbie asks Ed to recite it. He obliges, and I…

Epitaph for a Bronx Accent

It was an urban accent, an accent of pavement, of piss steaming into your nostrils on a hot day, it was an accent that had to fight for space on subway trains; it had the speed and brazen efficiency of a New York taxi cutting through traffic. “Gettin-a cah” was not just a request, it…

Talismans

Rohinton Mistry on ‘ A Fine Balance’ : I had originally planned to write a short novel. It began in my mind’s eye ‘with the image of a woman at a sewing machine . . . As I began  writing, though, the story grew and I found myself getting interested in other details of the…