Showing up for Grendel
April 5, 2024

Grace Harnois – by lucky fate my daughter-in-law – hosts a super-cool podcast. Last month she invited me to talk with her about John Gardner’s Grendel because we have both had soft spots for Grendel and his tormented mother more than we have for that hard-hearted hero Mr. Beowulf. Grendel and his mom were likely […]

Pictured here the immigrant Anderson Family: Bottom row – Lars, Mabel, and Lisa; Top row –  Mathew, Levi, and Alma The Mystery Even as children, my siblings and I knew we were mostly Norwegian. (We must have known we were legally Americans, but we never called ourselves that.) Our mother’s father (morfar in Norwegian) came […]

Strawberry Birthmark
February 10, 2021

“Did your dad tell you about the strawberry birthmark?” my aunt asked. I was driving north with her on 35 in the summer of 1989, an occasional moth splattering plumply against the windshield. “What’s a strawberry birthmark?” I asked, glancing quizzically at Aunt Dorothy in the passenger seat. Her silver hair fanned out along the […]