What is it like to grow up with a terrorist in your home? Zak Ebrahim was only seven years old when, on November 5th, 1990, his father El-Sayyid Nosair shot and killed the leader of the Jewish Defense League. While in prison, Nosair helped plan the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. In one of his infamous video messages, Osama bin Laden urged the world to “Remember El-Sayyid Nosair.”
For Zak Ebrahim, a childhood amongst terrorism was all he knew. After his father’s incarceration, his family moved often, and as the perpetual new kid in class, he faced constant teasing and exclusion. Yet, though his radicalized father and uncles modeled fanatical beliefs, to Ebrahim something never felt right. His story is told in The Terrorist's Son: A Story of Choice.
Delia and Nora Ephron were writing partners; they co-wrote the movies You've Got Mail and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as well as the off-Broadway hit Love, Loss and What I Wore. Delia was an assistant producer on Nora's film Sleepless in Seattle.
In her latest book, Sister Mother Husband Dog, novelist Delia Ephron writes that losing her older sister, Nora Ephron, was like "losing an arm, it's that deranging." Nora, who wrote When Harry Met Sally, died of acute myeloid leukemia in June 2012.
But for all their collaboration and closeness, Delia acknowledges that sister relationships are complicated. Sister Mother Husband Dog is a collection of autobiographical essays.
For 17 year old Mia, life can’t be the same, as her spirit is hanging in limbo after her family’s car crashes, leaving her the only potential survivor. So begins Gale Forman's young adult novel If I Stay. Throughout the novel, and now the movie being released this Friday (8/22), we’re brought into a world no one should ever have to face – to choose to live or die - and we follow Mia as she makes this hard decision while in a coma.
In Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family, Swoosie Kurtz shares just the right combination of personal misadventure and showbiz lore, candidly reflecting on the right choices that empowered her, the wrong choices that enlightened her, and the intimate journey of caring for an aging parent.
Kathy Curto is an Adjunct Professor of Writing at Montclair State University and her work has been published in The Inquisitive Eater, The Asbury Park Press, Italian Americana, VIA-Voices in Italian Americana, Lumina, The Mom Egg, Splash of Red and several newspapers covering the Hudson Valley. She holds a BA and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work. In 2012 she was selected as one of the cast members of the first NYC Listen to Your Mother show, a national series of original live readings. Kathy lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and their four children. This essay is also featured on Junk.
Few things are as exciting—and potentially life-changing—as discovering an old letter. And while etiquette books still extol the practice, letter writing seems to be disappearing amid a flurry of e-mails, texting, and tweeting.
The recent decline in letter writing marks a cultural shift so vast that in the future historians may divide time not between BC and AD but between the eras when people wrote letters and when they did not. So New York Times bestselling author Simon Garfield asks: Can anything be done to revive a practice that has dictated and tracked the progress of civilization for more than five hundred years?
Boris Fishman, a singularly talented writer, makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.
A Replacement Life is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice.
Joseph Luzzi is the author of Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy, which won the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, and The Times Literary Supplement. He has received an essay award from the Dante Society of America, a teaching prize from Yale College, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The first American-born child in his Italian family, he earned his doctorate from Yale University and is a professor at Bard College.
In his new book, My Two Italies, Joseph Luzzi - child of Italian immigrants and an award-winning scholar of Italian literature - straddles these two perspectives to link his family’s dramatic story to Italy’s north-south divide, its quest for a unifying language, and its passion for art, food, and family.
Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience is a collection of more than 125 letters offers a never-before-seen glimpse of the events and people of history—the brightest and best, the most notorious, and the endearingly everyday. It is compiled by Shaun Usher - as is the website of the same name.
From Virginia Woolf's heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II's recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression 'OMG' in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi's appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop's beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci's remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives.