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The Quiet Car
A quick update from a busy week on the east coast
It’s been another exciting week in the US, with some encouraging press, more great events, and happy reunions with old friends, all of it punctuated by four dreamy hours between Boston and New York in Amtrak’s Quiet Car. Yes, one passenger was mysteriously compelled to attempt a loud conversation on their cell phone. Inevitably, another felt obliged to explain what quiet meant. That other passenger was not me. I looked out the window and let nature take its course.
Admittedly this is the roundup of a single week, but I will take it!
“…a gripping chronicle of the ways in which those in power ignored, or even encouraged, the ill-treatment of children across borders, cultures, and decades.”
Jared Bowen of GBH News was a fantastic interviewer. He had closely read Ghosts of the Orphanage, he thought deeply about the issues, and he brought his own experience reporting on the 2002 Spotlight investigation to the table.
Harvard Bookstore with Alex Beam
I had a wonderful night at the storied Harvard Book Store answering questions from longtime Boston Globe columnist, Alex Beam. It was a perfect author-author match. Beam wrote Gracefully Insane about McLean Hospital, the strangely glamorous but still frightening psychiatric institution, best known for brilliant residents, like John Nash, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell.
Lowell, incidentally, is the author of Epilogue, which includes one of my favorite lines in literature, now the axion of the Unnatural History newsletter.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning
Diary of a Book Addict
not just a superlative work of investigative journalism, but an engrossing read… I carried this book everywhere until I finished it, and was annoyed when I had to put it down to start work in the morning. I can’t recommend it more highly.
Presumably this was written by a resident of the now redeveloped St. Joseph’s Orphanage building.
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