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Jessica Keener
Jessica Keener ( is the author of national bestselling novel, Night Swim, and /a> magazine and a features writer for The Boston Globe Magazine and other national publications including O, the Oprah Magazine,Design New England. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Fiction and has been listed in The Pushcart Prize under '100 Outstanding Writers'. Her collection of stories, Women In Bed, was picked as one of ten winter reads by Shape magazine.

Entries by Jessica Keener

Where Do You Go to Renew?

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 6:52 PM


From Boston, where I live, it takes 22 hours to drive to Sequatchie Cove Farm in Tennessee.

I like that it takes time and effort, and a measure of discomfort to arrive at this beautiful, sequestered place....

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Independence Day: Facing Fears of Violence

(4) Comments | Posted July 4, 2013 | 5:31 PM

July 3: This is the evening when the world-famous Boston Pops holds its annual rehearsal for the big July 4 event. The rehearsal is an extended sound check of sorts. There are no fireworks on this evening, but the practice draws huge crowds every year -- many thousands -- except...

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Joy Time

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 9:43 AM

What's your first thought when you hear the phrase "summer reading" or "beach book?"


Growing up, I went to overnight camp, all summer long for eight years, and that meant stocking up on new socks and underwear and, most especially, new books...

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In My Father's Garden

(12) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 1:20 PM

This is a golden chain tree; at least that is what my father called it when he found one growing in the woods behind our house where I grew up.


I remember the day he showed it to me. I followed him...

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Marathon Bombing: My Home

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 7:09 PM

T.S. Eliot's words come back again
The Wasteland

I. The Burial of the Dead
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Three miles from my house --...

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Code of Silence

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2011 | 5:37 PM

In the 1960s, a time of social restlessness and change, I was a teen growing up in a Boston suburb. Like many teenagers, I was part of a small clique -- mostly girls and a few boys. We went to the same classes, ate lunch together, and after school, we...

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Hello, Spring

(2) Comments | Posted March 22, 2011 | 1:12 PM

Since my father's passing in December 2010, and his wintry memorial in January in Boston, I've been waiting for spring's warmth and release. It came in this unexpected way.

We have a plant in our house. (A total of two plants because I have a red thumb, or whatever...

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On My Knees (Cleaning) Before Thanksgiving

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2010 | 11:36 AM

For three days I've been on my knees in the house of the Lord -- my house, that is --scrubbing, cleaning, waxing, sucking up dust that's claimed whole rooms while my mind's been far away, my heart in a trap. I'll get to where I've been in a moment.


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Childhood Mistake, Can you Forgive Yourself?

(4) Comments | Posted October 11, 2010 | 4:36 PM

One spring when I was eight, and it was too cold to play outside, I came up with the stellar idea of playing poor orphans in my friend's attic. This meant we didn't have parents, or money for electricity, or heat. (In my real world, my family had a...

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Circle Dance

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2010 | 12:05 PM

Recently, I spent a week in a two-bedroom cottage in southwestern Vermont. I'd rented this cottage once in the winter and was eager to return to the Mettowee Valley to see how the surrounding farms and meadows looked in the peak of spring. No longer submerged in snow, the Valley...

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Losing a Childhood Home

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2009 | 1:40 PM

Our family fought a lot but one thing we agreed upon: we loved our brick Tudor house. Set on one half-acre of lawns, trees and gardens, my house on 14 Scarsdale Road was my kingdom, a place where I spent my entire childhood, where my father planned to...

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Homes We Leave Behind

(2) Comments | Posted July 18, 2009 | 2:11 PM

Yesterday, I was walking in my old neighborhood in Newton, M.A., and I passed a house that I think of as "Ginny Hyde's house." It's a lovely wood shingle house with Dutch colonial lines. I knew this house as an 8-year-old child. The thing is, Ginny hasn't lived here for...

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Mother and Daughter of Others Less Fortunate

(6) Comments | Posted April 13, 2007 | 12:36 PM

This excerpt is adapted from Jessica Keener's recently completed novel, Others Less Fortunate, a story about a daughter's coming of age in the wake of her mother's tragic death.

Others Less Fortunate

The morning of the funeral, a day streaked with elephant colored clouds, I stood in a small reception...

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500 Blogs versus 500 Bookstores? Two Thriller Writers Race to an August Finish

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2006 | 5:14 PM

Sick of this heat? Pour yourself an iced drink and watch thriller writers, MJ Rose and JA Konrath, sweat it out this month as they race to see which marketing strategy--blogging or bookstores--will best sell their newest books.

International best-seller Rose opted for the virtual highway or blogging...

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