• News,  Publications

    Guidelines for Non-Americans on Writing a Classic American Story

    Put a character in a house with a porch and a yard, and call the place old, even though less than two centuries weigh it down. A picket fence is useful, along with a crabapple tree. Mention alcohol abuse or bootlegging, or get at least one character stupidly drunk. They may gulp down beer or whiskey or bourbon. Unless you take the story in the direction of A.A. If a male college professor appears, he better have an affair with one of his students. If it’s a female professor, she better be really forgetful and messy, or have the whole faculty working against her. Add a cowboy.

  • Events,  News

    Reading in Brussels

    We talked. We read. We had a blast. Thank you, Snug Harbor Brussels, Sofie Verraest, Nathalie Lion, Munt Punt Cafe, and others! Photography by Sem Vandekerckhove.

  • A Whale in Paris,  Events

    School Visit: St. John’s

    On September 13th, I was invited to talk to some fifty 4th and 5th graders at the St. John's International School in Brussels. We discussed how difficult it can be to distinguish facts from fiction in a world with so…

  • News,  Publications


    It’s easy to disappear in the dampness of this town. Twelve moons ago, my mother wandered through a murky labyrinth of streets and bridges, crossing canal after canal—like I do now—leaving no footsteps. Cold air snakes across her face and…