Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
Weren’t We Beautiful
by Marjorie Saiser
growing into ourselves
earnest and funny we were
some kind of alien, smiling
the light we lived in was gorgeous
we looked up and into the camera
the ordinary things we did with our hands
or how we turned and walked
or looked back we lifted the child
spooned food into his mouth
the camera held it, stayed it
there we are in our lives as if
we had all time
as if we would stand in that room
and wear that shirt those glasses
as if that light
would shine on us
and from us.
“Weren’t We Beautiful” by Marjorie Saiser from Learning to Swim. Stephen F. Austin University Press © 2019. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of Louisa May Alcott, (books by this author) born in Germantown, Pennsylvania (1832). She’s the author of Little Women (1868), a book that over the last century has been adapted into numerous stage plays, an opera, a Broadway musical, several Japanese anime films, and about a dozen Hollywood movies — including movies starring Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Susan Sarandon, Kirsten Dunst, and Claire Danes.
The latest adaptations include a film set for release December 25, 2019 staring Saoirse Ronanan and Emma Watson, directed by Gretta Gerwig, and a BBC anthology that was aired as part of the PBS series Masterpiece in the United States in 2018.
This 1868 children’s book inspired the novel that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize: Geraldine Brooks’s March (2005), which is a retelling of Little Women, this time narrated by the girls’ absent father. And in 2008, a dual biography of Louisa May Alcott and her dad won the Pulitzer Prize for biography. That book: John Matteson’s Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father (2007).
Little Women begins:
“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
“It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
“I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
“We’ve got Father and Mother, and each other,” said Beth contentedly from her corner.
The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words.
It’s the birthday of the writer who said: “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” That’s C.S. Lewis, (books by this author) born in Belfast (1898), the author of the seven-volume children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia, which begins with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), the story of four children sent away from London because of wartime air raids. He also said, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
Besides fairy tales and children’s classics, he wrote theological books, including The Screwtape Letters (1942), a novel in which a demon writes to his nephew; and The Great Divorce (1945), where residents of hell take a bus ride to heaven, and Mere Christianity (1952), based on talks he gave on the BBC during World War II.
C.S. Lewis said, “Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”
It’s the birthday of Madeleine L’Engle, (books by this author) born in New York City (1918), who struggled to find any success as a writer with novels about ordinary families and ordinary situations, but after reading about the ideas of Albert Einstein, she wrote a science fiction novel called A Wrinkle in Time (1962), about a group of children who have to rescue their father from a planet where individuality has been outlawed. The book was rejected by 26 different publishers, who all felt that it was too difficult for children but too fantastic for adults. But when it came out in 1962, the novel won the Newbery Medal, and it sells about 15,000 copies a year. Madeline L’Engle died in 2007.
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