How To Change Your Life

Change, which is so difficult to achieve in life and to portray in literature is often brought about by a catalyst, a stranger, who comes into our lives and makes us see ourselves in a different and perhaps more truthful light.

What Makes a Book Great?

I have been reading “Crime and Punishment” with a group of New Yorkers. Where else could one find a group of people interested enough to meet every week or so and discuss a book of this kind? We are all enjoying the book so much, so that at one point I asked somewhat guiltily if it might actually be considered “trash” rather than the great book history has decided it is.

Why Create Minor Characters in a Novel, Story or Essay?

Russian stories are often filled with a vast number of minor characters whose names we may find difficult to pronounce or remember. So why does Turgenev, for example, in a short story like Mumu ( 1854) give us not only his main character,Gerasim, the wonderful deaf and dumb serf, but the woman he belongs to, as well as a tailor, Kapiton Klimov who is a sad drunkard.

How To Keep The Reader Reading

Suspense often lies in putting a vulnerable creature into a dangerous position. Thus it comes from within ( the vulnerability) and without ( the outer danger) or to put it differently from the character, himself, or from the world outside him.

On the Wisdom of Taking a Lover

When my ex- husband announced he had fallen in love with another woman, he said he still loved me and was not sure what to do. He felt terribly guilty as did his mistress and he had to tell me the truth. We had been married for ten years and were both in our early thirties

How To Write a Thriller?

First, as with anything you write, you have to choose a voice. Who is going to tell your story? Do you want to use the first person as Albert Camus does in “ The Stranger” and begin with the lapidary sentences: “Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be quite sure.”

How to Learn the Language of Love

Every time we fall in love it seems so new. We say to our beloved, “I’ve never felt quite like this before!” and we sincerely believe it. Suddenly, it seems, we see the world lit up anew.

The Most Precious Gift My Mother Gave Me

Perhaps the most precious gift I inherited from my mother, the one which led me to become a writer, was her silence about so many parts of her life, the mystery in which she wrapped herself—like a dark cloak—giving only brief glimpses of her true self from time to time.

The Book That Changed My Life

I first encountered Proust’s work in what might be considered rather adverse yet somewhat Proustian circumstances. He was a favorite writer of my ex-husband and his southern mother who had discovered Proust on her own in the library in Kentucky where she had taken out Scott Montcrieff’s translation of Remembrance of Things past, and read it by chance.

On Art And Madness

My mother would often warn me, “Now Sheila, you don’t want to be too clever for your own good.” Obviously she equated “cleverness” with something dangerous. She was much more interested in how people had reacted to my dress after a party, “Did they like your dress?” she would ask, rather than my report card.

On Getting The Right Advice From The Right Person

When my ex husband first told me that he had fallen in love with someone else, I called, of all people, my mother-in-law for advice.

How To Act Most Seductively With A Lover

How To Make Someone Love You Forever.

What Do Women Want From Women And Men From Men ?

Do homosexuals and heterosexuals want different things from their partners?

What do Women Want from Men and Men from Women?

What do men and women want of one another?

How To Reach God

What makes us feel close to God?

How to Avoid the Same Old Argument

How to avoid that old argument that accomplishes nothing.

How Different Is the Artist From the Writer?

Has the image replaced the word?

How to Face Suffering

How to find consolation in moments of despair

What Makes a Book or a Blog Sell?

How to sell your book or blog.

How To Give and Get More From Those Around You

Giving and getting more from those you care about

On Women and Work

How much should women have to work ?

How To Use Place To Tell Your Story

How to use place to tell your story

Story, Memory, and Trauma

How important is it to be able to tell our story?

Where Do Novels Come From?

Where does our inspiration come from?

How Much Does the Language We Speak Shape Our Identity?

Can a different language change who we are?

How Much Should We Allow a Partner to Influence Us?

Should we allow our partner to influence us?

Four Suspenseful Stories in Freud's Wolfman Case.

What are the main stories in Freud's Wolfman case

How Important Is Hair in the Formation of Identity?

How important is hair in the formation of identity?

Dressing Up As Someone Else In Order to Discover Who We Are

How disguises help discover a deeper truth

How to Braid the Strands of Your Story Together

How to render the complexity of your life on the page