What to do with the interesting or vexing stories from our lives, the people who fascinate us, the situations that obsesses us? Do we spin them into fictions or try to capture them in nonfiction, in memoirs, essays, or—in what seems to be a trend—some hybrid form?...more
Posts by: Zoe Zolbrod
Brooklyn Magazine’s Favorite Writers Share Their Favorite Childhood Books.
One novel I loved when I was a kid was Madam Pastry and Meow. The details are fuzzy for me now, but I recall this: A schoolgirl in Paris meets a young artist, the type who lives in a garret and spends his food money on paint. The two are in cahoots regarding the care of an injured cat....more
Amy Monticello, the author of this week’s Sunday Rumpus essay, wrote about her father’s illness and death in real time (here’s a representative essay of hers from The Nervous Breakdown) and I read the pieces while holding my breath. Lucky enough in middle age to have my own elderly parents and my in-laws still here and healthy, I’m just starting to grapple with the fact that they’ll die—and maybe soon....more
This week I read a lot about rape.
I became aware that Bill Cosby was almost certainly a rapist about 10 years ago, when Andrea Costand brought a civil suit against him that included 13 women with similar accusations. Her story and motives were questioned; the case was settled out of court; and I was left with a familiar feeling, the foggy-headed queasiness that comes from living in a world where probable or known sex offenders are walking right beside you, or up there starring on the screen....more
This week’s Sunday Rumpus essay by Jean Kim got me thinking about the kind of retrospective realizations that make us wish we could go back in time and do something differently, or at least apologize for our inability to do so. What synchronicity then to run across “Self Portrait in Apologies” by Sarah Einstein....more
In talking to Molly Backes for this week’s Sunday Interview, Megan Stielstra mentions that she wants her readers to put down her book while reading in order to think, act, or write about the ideas being discussed. Her strategy sure worked on me....more
In today’s New York Times Book Review, there’s a great essay by Cheryl Strayed responding to the prompt “Is This a Golden Age for Woman Essayists?” She rightly tears the question to shreds. And yet, I’ll admit it. I tend to gravitate towards writers who are women, both in terms of what I read and who I befriend....more
Way back in the 1990s we, Zoe Zolbrod and Martha Bayne, decided to publish a zine. For months we zipped editorial ideas back and forth on our brand-new AOL accounts, and then, shortly after Martha emigrated from Brooklyn to join Zoe in Chicago, we produced our first issue: a hot-off-the-presses publication called Maxine, with a print run of 500 that emptied our meager bank accounts....more