Oliver-Twist

“Oliver Twist” is a story of redemption for PICT Classic Theatre.

Carolyn started rehearsals for PICT Classic Theatre’s Oliver Twist this week. She’s playing a member of Fagin’s gang. Last year in Great Expectations, she split a role; this year there is no double-casting, so she’s in every performance. I’ll be doing a lot of driving. This is not the musical Oliver; it’s the director’s original adaptation. Oliver Twist, a young orphan boy, becomes lost in the underbelly of old Victorian…

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How ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Changed Sci-Fi Forever

I read this book for the first time just recently. Was totally freaked out by the chapter that moves us from a realistic YA world to a fantasy/SF world, and then even more freaked out by further twists. I can only imagine the impact it must have had in 1963. It’s a fantastical story featuring interstellar travel; alien planets; an evil, disembodied brain; and a world under siege from an unknown…

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Ursula K. Le Guin: A Personal Take on Go Set a Watchman

  Before Watchman was published, I was skeptical and unhappy — all the publicity made it sound like nothing but a clever lawyer and a greedy publisher in cahoots to exploit an old woman. Now, having read the book, I glimpse a different tragedy. Lee was a young writer on a roll, with several novels in mind to write after this one. She wrote none of them. Silence, lifelong. I…

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The Better Angels of Our Writing

Copy editors are to the world of publishing what the stage manager is to the world of theater. I love copy editors and I love stage managers. When the copy editor for my latest book placed a little check mark over the name of a computer game, Snood, and then wrote in the margin (“snood.en.softonic.com”), I knew that her fact-checking was protecting me, and I felt grateful. When I dashed…

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Go Ask Alice

From the tangled tale of mass literacy one can pluck a few specific objects—books that were to be found in every household where there was somebody who could read and people who wanted to listen. Aside from the Bible, a typical list would run like this: “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” “Robinson Crusoe,” and “Gulliver’s Travels,” to which were later added “The Pickwick Papers” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Notice that Alice…