Captain Brown has returned us to the north grounds where he’d taken the largest right whale of his career less than one year ago. The man had been so full of cheer to begin this journey, but he’s since quieted, his bearded face slackened, eyes rinsed with doubt, and the crew’s talk of rubbish on his behalf has become a common murmur, when they...
The Star welcomes submissions of essays for its “Guestwords” column

I have resisted stashing summer away: While my cottage by the bay is quiet once again, the furniture and umbrellas are still out.

“So c-o-o-o-old” is what the voice in Bobby Nyson’s head had screamed after the ice splintered beneath his feet. They’d been coming home from trick-or-treating when they’d come to the pond in the woods, the black layer of surface ice reflecting the rising harvest moon.

“Have you ever had a colonoscopy?” I asked. It was our second date, sitting in a cafe after the ballet. “I don’t know your age, but you are in the right neighborhood.” Barbara was stunned! “No,” she answered, “should I?”

He found her sleeping in the garden at the base of the Belvedere steps, the theater buzzing with pre-show activity. She awoke immediately and smiled up at him. “Come,” she said. He followed her up the stairs to the castle, the landing dotted with tourists posing for each other. She walked beneath the gazebo to the railing and stretched out her...

Every June, Jameson celebrated the end to another school year by waiting in line for Shakespeare in the Park tickets. He had an entire morning to stretch out on a newspaper and consider a new life. He received his tickets by noon and then wandered the city until the evening performance at 8. The summer was his until the first back-to-school...

Strange, isn’t it, that two dedicated psychotherapists with criminal pasts would wind up helping hundreds of patients? We tend to see good people as essentially good, and bad people as stripped of decency. These two men were complicated combinations not of good and evil, but of the circumstances that formed them. Though both are dead, I won’t...

I’ve never considered myself a particularly brave person. I’ve taken plenty of career risks and had some daring adventures, but when it comes to hazardous or physically dangerous activities like skiing, bungee-jumping, skydiving, or mountain-climbing, I watch from a safe distance.

“Masticate your food,” Uncle Moe said. He and Aunt Blanche had joined my parents, me, and my sister, Nina, on a vacation in the Catskills, at a place called the Vegetarian Hotel, which we had nicknamed “the Veggie.”
The Star welcomes submissions of essays for its “Guestwords” column, of between 700 and 1,200 words, and of short fiction or memoir, of up to 2,000 words. Please send submissions for review by email, in text or Word format, to

Never had the Hamptons seemed more of a refuge to me than on that night. And never had I needed one more than I did that night.

A half-century ago, I took part in what could only be called a great experiment. Would deafening decibels of 55,000 screaming teenagers result in loss of hearing? Would Brownie camera flashbulbs simultaneously popping off cause little black dots to impair my vision by being forever affixed before my eyes?