Author Archives: Identity Theory Staff

After This, by Alice McDermott

If you’re Irish, like me, the stories of your family loom large in your mind and weigh heavily on your shoulders. Everyone from grandparents to second cousins and even great aunts and uncles work together to form a personal mythology – a collection of saints and sinners, on two sides of the Atlantic, among whom […]

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A Year of Magical Thinking

Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

“And this one is called The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion, and it’s about… Well, it’s about death.”

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time keeps on slipping

Once or twice a week my husband makes evening plans with friends. I’m almost always invited and I almost always decline. In fact, I feel a bit guilty because sometimes I actually like it when he’s out of the house in the evening, even though he’s already at work all day. You see, the evenings […]

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"what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversation?"

For most of the hours I’m awake in a day, I’m reading. But my book reading has been progressing in jumps and spurts, not at all smoothly.The book I turn to on an almost daily basis is called The Girl with The Gallery: Edith Gregor Halpert and the Making of the Modern Art Market by […]

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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

My first contribution to the IDT readers’ blog–and it’s a graphic novel! I’m not sure whether that’s auspicious or ominous. Anyway, this is one of the better ones I’ve read this year.I’d been getting a little morose about the state of the graphic novel genre–read enough of them and you can easily find yourself hemmed […]

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The British Camp: An excerpt from Rory Stewart’s The Prince of Marshes

A Prince cannot avoid ingratitude. –Machiavelli, Discourses, Book I, Chapter 29 Pursuant to my authority as Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1483 (2003), and the laws and usages of war, I hereby promulgate the following: The CPA is vested with all executive, legislative, and judicial authority […]

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A Fox, A Bear, and A River: Summer 2006 Poetry Selections

When summer arrives, living becomes much more simple. Coats, scarves, boots and gloves are discarded for the freedom generated by warmth on bare skin. Children seem instinctively to relish this change of season. As Durenda writes in "Summer Appetite," when we observe youngsters we begin “to understand the sour sweetness of / children sun burnt […]

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School for Bolivian Street Children

My cousin Shannon is doing some real social justice by starting a school for street children in Bolivia this summer. To check out her travels, visit

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The New Civil Service: An excerpt from Rory Stewart’s The Places in Between

I watched two men enter the lobby of the Hotel Mowafaq. Most Afghans seemed to glide up the center of the lobby staircase with their shawls trailing behind them like Venetian cloaks. But these men wore Western jackets, walked quietly, and stayed close to the banister. I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was […]

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The Best Time of Year: Spring 2006 Poetry Selections

Editor’s Choice poem "The Accident" by Abigail George reminds us of the underlying theme concerning the arrival of spring. Her lines offer hope even in the wake of a tragedy trumpeting the death of a young accident victim. "In life — I have discovered The only solution for a broken heart is To fall in […]

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Suzanne Clemens Art Showcase

Empty by Suzanne Clemens

An emotive artist whose work deals mostly with issues of the body, perception, and beauty.

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Poetry Lovers Are Everywhere: Winter 2005-06 Poetry Selections

They may gather in an intimate group of 20 to hear local bards at a small-town library on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Or they may bulge into a sea of 20,000 washing over the biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in the autumn forests of northern New Jersey. The venue matters little. The poets, regardless […]

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When Words Are More Than Enough: September 2005 Poetry Selections

When things happen with the terrifying displacement and death of a war or natural disaster, we seek answers for our misfortune through spiritual guidance or human logic. We look for some tool that will dig us out from under the terror and help us reconstruct a more familiar and friendly world. Internationally known and award-winning […]

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Word of Mouth: June 2005 Poetry Selections

WORD OF MOUTH A poet I know said he once read an interesting insight about the difference between poetry and prose. His discovery went something like this: There is poetry, and there is prose. Within the genre of prose, there is fiction and nonfiction. In poetry, however, there is neither fiction nor nonfiction. There is […]

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Homeward Bound: March 2005 Poetry Selections

HOMEWARD BOUND In this computer age, reality travels with the speed of light in a newsroom. Everything is illuminated. There are no gray areas — no shadows. An Associated Press advisory and story on the evening of March 22, 2005, left little to the imagination: "Gunman kills grandparents, seven people at his high school in […]

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