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Henriette Lazaridis Power's Blog

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For a writer, I’ve been acting a little strange lately. I’ve been driving around eastern Massachusetts with a pre-amp and a pop screen and other assorted pieces of sound equipment in a large messenger bag, and wielding a folded-up microphone stand in one hand. I’ve been poring over sound files,...
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My favorite children’s book led me to break the law. Well, not a real law. A college law. The law that when the library closes, you need to leave the premises, not hide away in the basement with a sleeping bag and a stash of food, so you can spend the night wandering the wood-paneled reference room...
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By Henriette Lazaridis Power The letter sat on our kitchen counter next to the fruit bowl (which really should be called the Vessel of Neglected Fruit—but that’s another story). It was printed on crisp, gray paper, with an impressive letterhead and a bold signature. One of my kids picked it up and...
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By Henriette Lazaridis Power Oh, you know what writers are like: self-deprecating, solitary creatures who are awkward in crowds.  We cultivate our insecurities; we hide behind our prose.  If we liked people—I mean really liked them—we’d spend our days differently—like actually among people. The...
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Would I be ruining my reputation as a writer and reader if I revealed that, lately, I’ve been fascinated by audiobooks?  I hope not.  But it has come as a bit of a surprise to me to realize that not only do I emote more when I’m listening to a book, but I feel more engaged in the narrative than I...
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Z: a perfect place to start the New Year. Why the last letter of the alphabet? Because it’s also the sound (zee) of the Greek word for “he lives”, a cry of new or renewed life. This doubling of meaning is exactly what Greek filmmaker Costa-Gavras had in mind when he gave his 1969 political thriller...
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New Formats, New Literature? I take books for granted. Not individual books. I treasure individual books. I hold onto them; I refuse to give them away or, truth be told, even lend them unless I’ve practically screened the potential borrower as carefully a nominee for the Supreme Court. But I take...
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Yesterday’s New York Times ran a photograph that made me stop and stare. It wasn’t, thankfully, an image of war’s horrors or a natural disaster. It was a photograph of the young Walter Cronkite, a pipe in his mouth, reading a book. I glanced at the picture, scanned the article, which explained that...
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If self-consciousness marks the entry into adolescence, then I slipped into that angst-ridden phase of life one fall afternoon when I was ten.  As I did most afternoons, I headed for the conservation land behind my house, usually with my dog somewhere nearby, and this time with my friend Jehanne. ...
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For a few years now, I’ve had a running disagreement with my writer friend Randy Susan Meyers.* I’ve learned a great deal from her: the importance of adding misery to your characters’ lives, the need to keep the plot moving through a series of “little wants”. But I confess to mostly ignoring Randy’...
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At the end of Joe Wright’s 2005 Pride and Prejudice—in which he turns Jane Austen into Charlotte Brontë but nobody seems to mind—Lizzie tells her newly-wedded Darcy that he should call her “Mrs. Darcy” only when he is “completely and perfectly and incandescently happy”.Incandescently. The word...
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid possesses the mixed blessing of the iconic film. We know and admire it as a series of greatest-hits moments, but we’ve lost the feel for the entire movie. Stumbling across it on cable, we might watch a moment or two, savor a beloved line, and then move on. It’s an...
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In Sunday's New York Times, commentator Verlyn Klinkenborg raises the essential question every avid reader faces, for some inexplicable reason, the moment school ends and blockbusters fill the multiplexes: what to read. He answers it in characteristic Klinkenborg fashion—thoughtfully, without sure...
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When people stay in their seats to watch the credits of a movie, they generally do so in silence, feeling slightly embarrassed about their need to know which stately home stood in for the heroine’s abode, or who sang that vaguely familiar song at the end. And when the relevant information is...
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