fiction

Long years ago when I was teaching at a middle school in lower Westchester, the schedule was such that teachers shared the same lunch hour as the kids.

One-Armed Sam was not a discriminating man when it came to drinking. He showed up about six months ago and never left.

Anyone working in New York City has had celebrity sightings so often we jokingly called them “brushes with greatness.” From strap-hanging with a makeup-free Gwneyth Paltrow to sharing an elevator with J.F.K. Jr., I’ve had mine too.

I was a reporter in Chicago in the dead of winter, 1967. Nasty. Below zero. Snow and ice everywhere. Brutal wind. A little before Hanukkah and Christmas.

Finny fastened the buttons on the gray coat that was her best-ever find in the clothes barrel at church, even though the sleeves barely touched her wrists. From the kitchen, the querulous voice grew angrier in answer to the person on the other end of the phone. The drinking buddy, who would be over soon. Shoes in hand, Finny crept down the dark...

It began when I was a teenager — a strange magnetic force that propelled me into places and experiences that were the provenance of the rich and famous. During my life I found myself in close proximity to the privileged, the talented, the movers and shakers. I didn’t seek it, it just happened again and again — like being in the right place at the...

When I stopped by, she was sitting in the sunroom in a bright peach cotton robe and her pink plaid pajamas. Her sister and niece and the nurse were with her at the table under the hanging bleeding heart plant, surrounded by potted hibiscus. She was eating coffee ice cream for lunch, in a pretty china bowl, with a pretty silver spoon. Her napkin...

A year ago, at the age of 92, my widowed mother spent her days in one of south Florida’s numerous four-story, pink cinderblock, sanitized senior communities (“Over 55 years; Children prohibited.”) Other than occasional aches and pains and some loss of hearing, her physical health was remarkably strong. To those who met my mother, her keen memory,...

Zacharov was in his Moscow apartment. The apartment was dark except for the glow of the 15 computer screens, each manned by a trained hacker.

We had just moved from West Virginia to Atlanta. My husband, a fund-raiser, had taken a job there with a charity. We bought a little three-bedroom house for $13,500 in Decatur on the outskirts of town, 1398 Willevee Drive. The price of the house is a dead giveaway that it was a long time ago —1963.

Georgie McFadden marched with purpose through the twice-baking summer heat that radiated from above and ricocheted from below off the endless pavement as he headed toward the one-hour photo shop on Third Avenue.

It was fall in Charlottesville. The air was still warm, leaves crunched beneath the feet of many thousand students treading brick-laid paths on their return to campus, and Annie and I were smitten with each other. We had met a month or so into our first year at college, I from Long Island and she from Lynchburg, Virginia. I lived in the dorm next...

When I was a kid on Long Island in the ’60s no one ever wondered what characters their parents were going to be for Halloween. Unlike Memorial Day, when families went to the beach together, or July Fourth, when all the neighborhood adults had barbecues, set off fireworks, and got drunk on Schaefer beer, Halloween was reserved for the 13-and-under...