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Dana Sachs
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Entries by Dana Sachs

9 Rules of Email Etiquette

(2) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 10:24 PM

Recently, I received an email from a young relative of mine that included an interesting query. He is a 2012 college graduate who has just moved to Washington, D.C., hoping to find a job in government. He wrote:

"During this process, I have found some things that I need to...
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Who Needs Anne Frank?

(35) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 4:27 PM

Three years ago, my son Jesse's seventh grade teacher assigned the class The Diary of Anne Frank.

"What did you think?" I asked when he'd finished.

"Boring," he said. "Really, really boring. I thought it would never end."

I should have known. I had seen him sprawled...

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Karen E. Bender: "You Will Outlast the Earth"

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 6:25 PM

In this blog, I highlight passages that I've found in my travels through books. I hope readers will post quotes of their own, or comment on those they see here. I'm curious, too, about your reactions to the books you read. What kinds of words and sentences strike you most...

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Ann Patchett and the Horror of Hope

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 12:48 PM

In this blog, I highlight passages that I've found in my travels through books. I hope readers will post quotes of their own, or comment on those they see here. I'm curious, too, about your reactions to the books you read. What kinds of words and sentences strike you most...

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Glenn Gould, Petula Clark, The Beatles and 'the noise you make while breaking rules'

(9) Comments | Posted January 4, 2013 | 11:14 AM

In what may be an act of complete idiocy (and, I suppose, optimism), I find myself writing fiction about a family of pianists, though I know almost nothing about music. To deepen my knowledge, I've been reading books about music and listening to a wide array of classical music. I...

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50,000 Words In 30 Days

(3) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 6:47 PM

As you read this 750-word essay, I'll be taking a nap. Or relaxing on my sofa, eating bonbons and reading Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories. I'll feel that I deserve these luxuries because, between November 1 and November 30, I will have written an entire novel. From scratch.

Every year, I...

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Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 3:33 PM

"To begin with, it's true, she read with trepidation and some unease. The sheer endlessness of books outfaced her and she had no idea how to go on; there was no system to her reading, with one book leading to another and often she had two or three on the...
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The Word Collector: Willa Cather's 'My Antonia'

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 4:27 PM

[In this blog, I highlight passages that I've found in my travels through books. I hope readers will post quotes of their own, or comment on those they see here. I'm curious, too, about your reactions to the books you read. What kinds of words and sentences strike you most...

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The Word Collector: George Eliot's 'Middlemarch'

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 1:42 PM

I keep a little journal with me while I read so that I can copy down passages that I love. The process of writing down these quotes is tactile and intimate. As I copy, the words feel like objects that I can hold in my hand, ruminate over, stare at,...

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Holiday Shopping From Your Shelves

(1) Comments | Posted December 7, 2010 | 10:52 AM

A few months ago, I faced a confounding problem. My bookshelves were packed so tightly that I couldn't even shove in a copy of Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader, which is a very skinny novella. I knew that I had too many books, but the idea of getting...

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What's Next for Arlen Specter?

(16) Comments | Posted May 19, 2010 | 1:41 PM

In a classic "Saturday Night Live" skit, Molly Shannon plays Sally O'Malley, an aging would-be Rockette, whose audition involves prancing around the stage doing the Can-Can while shouting proudly, "I'm Fifty!" I've been thinking of Sally over the past few weeks as longtime senator Arlen Specter made his fierce...

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The Russia-U.S. Adoption Dilemma

(3) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 6:02 PM

Russian-U.S. relations devolved last week after an American mother sent her 7-year-old adopted son back to Russia, alone, because, as she claimed in a letter she sent with the child, she was "lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues."...

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An Adult Adoptee Decides to Adopt

(5) Comments | Posted April 1, 2010 | 2:46 PM

This spring, Bert and Sarah Ballard hope to fly to Vietnam to pick up the little boy they plan to adopt. In the three years since they began the adoption process, the couple, who already have two biological daughters, have experienced the excitement, emotional upheaval, and bureaucratic setbacks typical for...

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Are the Haitian Orphans Actually Orphans?

(7) Comments | Posted February 25, 2010 | 12:24 PM

I had to sigh this week when I read that 12 out of 54 Haitian "orphans" airlifted out of that country in January may not, in fact, be orphans at all. The U.S. Government had fast-tracked the immigration process after receiving promises from the children's caregivers, two young...

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Operation BabyLift: Ted Kennedy and the Orphans of Vietnam

(9) Comments | Posted September 1, 2009 | 7:44 PM

This week, many people have recollected their interactions with Senator Edward Kennedy. I also met him -- in the pages of a 34-year-old transcript I discovered while researching a book about the war in Vietnam.

My research involved Operation Babylift, the U.S.-sponsored evacuation, and subsequent overseas adoption, of several thousand...

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