Focus On The Story

In a couple of weeks, I’ll once again be in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the University of Virginia speaking to a group of highly-motivated students who want to be doctors. What I’ll tell them will have very little to do with biology and science, although we will talk a bit about that. Mostly, I’ll be telling…

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Listen to Sleary

Today I read a post on social media that referenced a printed quote from a male physician that sounded misogynistic about the work ethic of female physicians. There were an avalanche of comments from readers who called for the physician’s ruin. I was reminded immediately of the Chicago Cubs’ fan who was captured apparently taking…

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The Company You Keep

Since early spring, I’ve been keeping company with the work of some great writers. I began in early April by re-reading one of the great novels ever written (in my opinion)—Philip Roth’s Everyman. This meditation on aging and death was as rewarding the second time as it had been back when it was new. I…

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Hail and Farewell To Another Great Class

My class at University of Texas at Dallas ended a couple of weeks ago. I’ve just finished reading all the final papers and posting the final grades. Since the Honors College has been kind enough to ask me to teach again next spring, I will soon begin thinking about revising the syllabus, adding or subtracting…

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Why I Write What I Write

I am preparing to give a brief talk about my new novel, Back Side Of A Hurricane, and when I talk about my novels, and try to answer the question, “What’s it about?” I always focus on theme rather than plot. Literary fiction writers, it seems to me, write about themes, and use plot as…

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Back To My Roots

Last weekend, on a retreat with my sisters, I saw the house that my parents were living in when I was born—for the first time.  This was all the more remarkable since that house was only about ten miles from the house that I grew up in from the time I was 15 months old,…

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