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Debbie Lee Wesselmann's Blog

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Nov.14.2010
I recently wrote an opinion piece that was published by AOL News about people’s misunderstanding of the First Amendment. For a couple of days, it sat on AOL’s page without many comments.  But then on Sunday, AOL members came out in force.  One member said I should be hanged. ...
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Nov.12.2010
As an author, I understand the power of words, both as protest and as artistic tool. For this reason and also because I am an American, I am an ardent supporter of our constitutional right to free speech. However, part of the support of the First Amendment requires that I recognize when...
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Oct.13.2010
With the rest of the world, I have been watching and celebrating the miraculous rescue of the thirty-three Chilean miners trapped a half-mile underground.  Their survival will stand for years to come as a testament to human resilience.  The techniques both they and their rescuers have used to...
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Oct.08.2010
Last weekend, my husband and I checked into a Princeton, New Jersey hotel fairly late on Friday night, having each attended separate dinners in the area.  Although we were exhausted, we chatted away about our evenings as we dragged our small suitcase behind us and hoisted our briefcase straps over...
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Sep.23.2010
Perhaps because I've been in the academic-year mindset for decades now, I've designated September as my personal health care month, a sort of back-to-school for my body.  Already, I've been to the dentist, my family doctor, and my optometrist.  I've had my flu shot.  My yearly blood work and...
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Sep.17.2010
All this talk of Qur'an burning and immigration-status profiling has me riled, not because I favor looser security but because I'm the product of both my country and my fiction reading.  Let me explain.  This country was founded, and kept strong, by its immigrants (our own families) and its...
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Sep.10.2010
I confess that, before this summer, I had never read the Nobel Prize winning author Orhan Pamuk despite having bought his Snow when the English translation was published in 2004. The novel sat on my shelf, unopened, not because I dreaded reading it but because I had moved on to other books. When I...
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Sep.07.2010
Captivity by Debbie Lee Wesselmann
With the news that this week Sara Gruen will be publishing a new novel titled Ape House about signing apes (in this case, bonobos) and a female primatologist, I found myself in a bittersweet position. While I applaud any effort to bring to light the exploitation of our closest relatives, I couldn’t...
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Nov.09.2008
This week I showed my students Adaptation, written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze, a free-wheeling adaptation of Susan Orlean's nonfiction book The Orchid Thief. The metafictive film is as much about writing as it is about orchids, maybe even more so, and it occurred to me as I was...
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Jul.26.2008
Today is my birthday.  I've celebrated the anniversary of my birth so many times that I often forget how old I am or what day of the week July 26 falls on.  But since I love to celebrate any occasion, I'm embracing this day. Every year, friends and family ask what I want for my birthday.  Most...
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Jul.25.2008
Recently, a friend pointed me to a blog on Galley Cat that bemoaned the dwindling enthusiasm in the blogosphere to review books.  It seems that publishers are depending on online outlets to review their books, and bloggers are growing resentful of the stacks of books they receive and are expected...
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Jul.06.2008
Real life –– at least as I live it –– is not as dramatic as a good story.  Every morning, I shuffle into the kitchen for a much-needed cup of coffee, read the paper, and then embark on a day filled with extraordinary . . .  routine.  On days when I'm writing, usually the only two characters in the...
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Jun.15.2008
A controversy is currently raging in Louisiana and Texas -- and it has nothing to do with the presidential race. Six chimpanzees are caught in a custody battle between two sanctuaries, Chimp Haven and Primarily Primates, both of which claim the right to house them. The chimps' plight, and the lack...
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Jun.01.2008
The door opened. Two steps forward. Stop. Two to the left. And a scurry down the nearest aisle. This dance, repeated person after person, was choreographed to avoid me, seated at a table that the manager had placed near the front door. I learned during my recent book tour that authors intimidate...
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