Archive for June, 2015

My Favorite Blurbs

June 28, 2015

My most favorite reviews of my writing:

“Intelligent but grim” ~ Publishers’ Weekly

“Surprisingly non-douchey” ~AL, The New Yorker

What’s in a Name?

June 22, 2015

The story of a small portion of my life is included in a book that is scheduled to come out in the next year or so (I think.)  When I wrote it, I used my real name, with the understanding that the editor would replace it with a pseudonym later on.  So when I got the chapter back for proof, I saw that my name was… Frances.  Frances!  I was on the one hand a bit disturbed, because to me Frances sounds dowdy, but on the other hand enormously flattered, because I thought immediately of course of the way-ahead-of-her-time Frances Farmer, and who doesn’t want to be compared with a woman who wrote an essay at age seventeen titled “God Dies?”  I mean, honestly.  So maybe rather than dowdy, the editor envisioned me as a moody beauty?  Below are a few other cool ladies named Frances, the first one named after the aforementioned cool lady named Frances.

Frances Bean Cobain

Frances of Rome, Italian Saint and mystic (again, just. like. me.) who wanted to be a nun at eleven but whose parents forced her to marry at twelve.  She had a good marriage, founded a religious order, and turned her home into a hospital during a time of war, among other good deeds.

a whole bunch of duchesses and countesses

Frances “Scotty” Fitzgerald, only child of F. Scott and Zelda, poor thing

Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden, which was  porn for smart little girls like me

Frances “Franny” Glass (J. D. Salinger character)

Frances “Baby” Housman (“Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”)

There are a few more who look like they’d be worth mentioning, but I’m on a train while writing this and getting a little naush.

Sound Advice

June 21, 2015

JE: You have the rest of your life to eat nicoise salad


June 12, 2015

This is something I’ve been meaning to ask about for a while.  While in London, fiance and I went to see the Old Masters at the Courtauld Gallery, and I noticed the below portrait, which the info card said was of Anna Reitmor, a Dutch (I think) noblewoman.



The info card also said that there was another half of this portrait, so to speak, which was of her husband, Peter.  Curiously, the National Gallery entry for the work doesn’t say that it is for certain Peter (it might be another male member of the Froschl family) but I’m convinced solely based on background.  And so that begs the question: Shouldn’t the Courtauld and/or the National Gallery have hired a researcher to determine whether or not these two had a happy marriage?  And if they did, shouldn’t every effort have been made to keep their likenesses together?

Would You Order This?

June 8, 2015

From a menu on  In case you can’t see, the description is: “Too difficult to put into words but highly recommended.”

Well, if it's HIGHLY recommended...

Well, if it’s HIGHLY recommended…

A Christmas Lament

June 3, 2015

A young editor I once met at a party where we made gingerbread houses (Brooklyn is so weird) emailed me the following, when I reminded her of our initial introduction:

(Man, gingerbread houses: I could really go for one of those right about now.)
(Although, you know, what a tragedy they are, ultimately. Right? Like sand castles. Or sand mandalas. Anything made out of sand, basically.)
(And is all of that stuff actually edible?)
(Like, isn’t there glue and stuff, usually? I seem to remember this from childhood. You’d spend all afternoon building a g’bread house and then the teacher-type-person would be all, No, don’t eat it—it’s just for decoration. Which is like, teacher-type-person, have you ever met a child? I mean, seriously.)
(Forget it. Gingerbread houses are clearly the worst.)