Tag Archives: The Navigator

The Conscience of an Independent

There is a level of emotion that only men—and I mean men—who have run for public office and lost can appreciate. You pour every bit of male egocentric pride into a humungous unwieldy uncontrolled risky effort, take positions that will enliven some people to ecstasy and passionately infuriate others to blind rage, suffer every fool gladly seeing yourself as wise, go into debt, hazard your most cherished relationships, and permit petty concerns tear apart every seam of your psyche and soul, all in full public Continue reading →

Punches, Evil and Influences

Three short stories illuminate some painfully fundamental inquiries for writers. All true. Each one followed by a question. For fiction to accelerate to its full imaginative power and reach transcendent grace, we need to ask the questions. Punches Just before the turn of the millennium I wrote a novel that I never published. In the midsection of that book, the good guy and his girlfriend—they were Washington politico-elite types—wound up on a peripatetic journey around America, running from the conspiracy. They traveled to some very Continue reading →


They are the unread. No, not the undead, although there is certainly a pop-consciousness allegory hidden there—even the MLA has sessions on Zombie Modernism now. I mean the unread, the backlog, books that are patiently waiting on the shelf or even at the edge of our consciousness. Stuff we perhaps mean to read but haven’t gotten around to yet. Let’s give this our attention. My brilliant friend and long-suffering lawyer Russell DaSilva has a dangerous fluency in Japanese. He admits to having a favorite word Continue reading →


There is a dividing line in my American generation. Placement on either side is an accident of your moment of birth. The younger cohort never completely comprehends why the memory is so powerfully meaningful. On my side each of us recalls exactly where he or she was when we heard. Vividly, unerringly, precisely, with no equivocation. I write, of course, about the Kennedy assassination—a violent act from which I have been attempting to extract meaning since I was eight years old. If there is one Continue reading →