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Archives - December 2011

Philip Galanes is the author of SOCIAL Q'S the cock-eyed advice column published weekly in the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times.  In the year since its debut, the column has become one of the most highly-read and consistently-searched features of the paper. Philip is also an entertainment lawyer and novelist.  He was born and raised in New England, and graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School. He occasionally sidelines as an interior designer, and his projects have been published in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, New York Magazine, and The New York Times. Here he talks about an attempt to re-gift.
Award-winning writer Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include THE SHAPE OF MERCY (named by Publishers Weekly as one of the Best Books of 2008), WHITE PICKET FENCES, LADY IN WAITING, and A SOUND AMONG THE TREES. Here she talks about the first poetry book she ever received --- one she still has.
Tami Hoag is an American author who made a smooth transition from successful romance novels to wildly successful and best selling thriller novels. She is said to have more than 22 million copies of her books in print. She currently lives in Florida. Here Tami talks about how she discovered reading, and how this discovery has affected her gift-giving tendencies.  
  Hilma Wolitzer is the author of several novels, including HEARTS, ENDING, and TUNNEL OF LOVE, as well as the nonfiction book THE COMPANY OF WRITERS. She is a recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She has taught writing at the University of Iowa, New York University, and Columbia University. Hilma Wolitzer lives in New York City. Here she talks about her struggle to convince her friends and family to take her work seriously.  
  Michael Lindsay-Hogg studied at Oxford before becoming a director of the 1960s British television rock series "Ready, Steady, Go!" On Broadway, he has directed "Whose Life Is It Anyway?," "Agnes of God," and "The Boys of Winter." His films include "Nasty Habits," "Frankie Starlight," "The Object of Beauty," and "Waiting for Godot." He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lisa. Here he talks about the pleasures of learning to read --- and how he was rewarded with the first book he ever received as a gift!  
  Joseph Monninger, twice a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, is also the author of ETERNAL ON THE WATER. Currently a college professor, he has published award-winning fiction and nonfiction. He lives with his family in a converted barn near New Hampshire’s Baker River. Here he talks about the Christmas he observed with his family when he was 18 --- his mother's last.  
  Barbara O’Neal fell in love with food and restaurants at the age of fifteen, when she landed a job in a Greek café and served baklava for the first time. She sold her first novel in her twenties, and has since won a plethora of awards, including two Colorado Book Awards and six prestigous RITAs, including one for THE LOST RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS in 2010. Her novels have been published widely in Europe and Australia, and she travels internationally, presenting workshops, hiking hundreds of miles, and of course, eating. She lives with her partner, a British endurance athlete, and their collection of cats and dogs, in Colorado Springs. Here she talks about recovering memories on Christmas.  
  Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times Bestselling author of GARDEN SPELLS (2007) THE SUGAR QUEEN (2008) THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON (2010) and THE PEACH KEEPER (2011). She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina. Here she talks about anticipation on Christmas Eve...or early Christmas morning.  
December 23, 2011

Jean Kwok on Not Knowing Christmas

Posted by Katherine
  Like her protagonist, Jean Kwok was born in Hong Kong.  Along with her family, she immigrated to Brooklyn when she was five and worked in a Chinatown clothing factory for much of her childhood.  After entering public elementary school unable to speak a word of English, she was later admitted to Hunter College High School, one of New York City’s most competitive public high schools.  She won early admission to Harvard, where she worked as many as four jobs at a time and graduated with honors in English and American literature, before going on to earn an MFA in fiction at Columbia.  She has worked as an English teacher and Dutch-English translator at Leiden University in the Netherlands.  In addition, she has been a professional ballroom dancer, a reader for the blind, a housekeeper, a dishwasher, and a computer graphics specialist for a major financial institution.  Her work has been published in Story magazine, Prairie Schooner, and the NuyorAsian Anthology. Here she talks about how she came to understand Christmas.  
December 22, 2011

India Knight on How to Give Books

Posted by Katherine