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Free at last, the West Memphis Three's Damien Echols is trying to start over... in Salem, Massachusetts
Life after death row
A year after his release from prison, Echols has chosen to settle in Salem for a reason: he feels a kinship with the history of the place. He knows what it's like to be the object of a witch hunt.
| December 14, 2012
With his new restaurant almost ready, chef Will Gilson mulls heritage, humility, and his year in culinary purgatory
The Puritan Ethic
The door to the kitchen is open, and inside, Will Gilson is getting ready.
| October 12, 2012
On carpentry and college
Finding reward - and real learning - in the ivory tower
Age 30, I quit the Phoenix and ended up with a job as an apprentice to a carpenter. Sawing, chiseling, hammering, nail-gunning, tiling, sanding, slotting, framing, hauling, measuring, and sweeping are less obvious outcomes of an undergraduate career in the liberal arts. College, in strange and unexpected ways, prepared me for this sort of work. And in others, did not prepare me at all.
| October 20, 2011
Worried about writing that thesis? Turns out writing could be the least of your problems.
I knew a man pursuing a PhD in literature. His dissertation had to do with humor as a form of dissent in 20th-century literature. And how enthused he was at first! How passionate and excited.
| April 27, 2011
David Foster Wallace's The Pale King
All I can do is tell you how I read the book.
| April 13, 2011
The house that House of Sand and Fog built
Son of a famous-author father, novelist Andre Dubus III had to write his own way out of a violent youth
Andre Dubus III collected me at the Newburyport train station last month when the snow piles were already high. We stopped first for a coffee for the road; he asked all the questions: siblings, hometown, are you married?
| February 25, 2011
Don't be an idiot
What we wish someone had told us about making the best of the college experience
We're all idiots when we're 18. We're all idiots for the first half of our 20s, and longer, for some. By saying so, we're not trying to insult anyone.
| January 27, 2011
From OpenCourseWare to co-ops, area schools are taking their learning outside the classroom
Back in 2000, when Google was two years old and the all-for-naught panic over a worldwide Y2K meltdown had subsided, the MIT faculty had to answer two questions: how is the Internet going to change education? And what are we going to do about it?
| January 12, 2011
Holiday survival guide
Stress is just another present we open this time of year
It used to be so easy. It used to be all egg nog and hanging your favorite ornaments, sugar cookies and Yule logs, candle-lighting and leaving carrots for Santa's reindeer fleet.
| December 08, 2010
Getting Your Hands Dirty
A few basic skills could help you survive the apocalypse — and reconnect to the real world
It's easy to get apocalyptic. Worst case scenarios can be conjured in a few broad strokes — oil crisis, poisoned reservoir, terrorists murder the Internet.
| October 13, 2010
Sleep when you're dead: A guide to late-night Boston
Think Boston shuts down at midnight?
Here's how to stuff your face, roll gutter balls, binge on cult cinema, and dance your ass off all the way to sunup.
| September 02, 2010
When you swap memorizing for learning, sparks fly and tuna rolls
In college, there was Aeschylus. There was the Battle of Gettysburg, chiaroscuro, the second law of thermodynamics.
| August 04, 2010
Escape from Soccer City
Outside the World Cup, seeing South Africa in black and white
The FIFA complex here is a swishy maze of a mall, all upscale shops and unrelenting fluorescent lights, attaching the hotels to each other before spilling out into Nelson Mandela Square, which is right now dominated by a Sony tent — a 3D World Cup viewing pavilion — and circled by tourist restaurants.
| July 15, 2010
Ghana baby Ghana
A Letter from South Africa
Florida Road is a crowded strip of bars and clubs in Durban, a city on the eastern coast of South Africa.
| June 30, 2010
Spooky? A bit, but Massachusetts's cemeteries are also the bucolic, final resting places of many great American writers.
I asked the question this way: "Where would you want to be buried?" Not "do," but "would." That is to say if, by chance, you were to die, unlikely as that might be, where would you want to spend all of nonexistence?
| June 16, 2010
The explosive lives of pyrotechnical professionals
Fireworks in summer — gazing to a blazing sky, mouth wide, sparkle-eyed, the "ahh"s and "oh man"s passing your lips unbidden.
| June 16, 2010
Review: On the road with David Foster Wallace
David Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself treads lightly in the footsteps of a literary giant
David Foster Wallace had a crush on Alanis Morissette. He drank Diet Rite soda by the case. David Lynch changed him.
| May 17, 2010
Harvard virginity conference pops its cherry
Roe v. Wait Dept.
At what moment are you no longer a virgin? When you get a blowjob? Give one? Give 30 ? When someone fingers you? Oral sex? Anal sex? Enjoyment? Orgasm?
| May 07, 2010
Words around town
Our fair city is chock full of people who write well and are willing to teach you their trade.
“Every writer I know has trouble writing,” said Joseph Heller. Let that serve as comfort.
| April 30, 2010
Walkin' and talkin'
Unguided Zen-like tours through NYC
It counts as some small death, the blinders-on result of routine, when instead of noticing how the light hits the river or the man in front of the noodle shop crouches as if he'd got no bones, your thoughts pinball from your sandwich to an e-mail you want to write to a ticking of your to-do list.
| March 09, 2010
The Current Issue
Table of Contents
Where To Follow Me
| March 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Mo Takes His Turn
March 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM
[Q&A] KMFDM's Sascha Konietzko on art, Columbine and having balls
On The Download
| March 18, 2013 at 3:22 PM
See this film series: The Belmont World Film Series @ Studio Cinema in Belmont
Outside The Frame
| March 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM
See this film: This is Spinal Tap [with post-film talk by expert from Acoustical Society of America] @ the Coolidge
March 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM
BLOG POSTS BY NINA MACLAUGHLIN
David Foster Wallace: suicide
Podcast: Junot Díaz reads a new short story at the Brattle Theater
Podcast: Jason Brown, author of Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work
Podcast: "Stuff White People Like" author at Harvard Book Store
Michael Brodeur named new Music Editor at the Boston Phoenix
The Wire: Haikus
Father and son play last-minute Beethoven with the BSO
Intriguing Australian author alert
From the Phoenix Archives: A Child of Hitler: Growing Up in the Third Reich
Last Week's Flashbacks
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