Writers at Work: Entering Someone Else’s Life
By Jack Limpert
One of the books I reread every few years is Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It’s the story of a young boy, Christopher Boone, who goes out to his backyard late one night and discovers that his neighbor’s dog has been killed with a garden fork . It quickly becomes clear that Christopher sees the world in unusual ways, the ways a child with Asperger’s syndrome, a kind of autism, might see it. The story follows Christopher’s attempt to play detective and find out who killed the dog. For the reader, it’s a chance to see the world through the eyes of an autistic boy.
On Writing: Unearthing a Lost Language
By Mike Feinsilber
Assume it is the 1950s, and two guys in white shirts, ties undone, cigarettes dangling from lips, are in United Press International bureaus, one in Tokyo, one in New York, communicating with each other. The teletype machine in Tokyo sounds three bells and these words clack out:
“SOS ETWIFE HEADS TOKYOWARD SMORNING SANSTOP. MUCHLY APC EYEBALL ARRIVAL. URGENTEST NEED THUMBSUCKER CUM ART.”
These were marching orders from headquarters to the fellow in Tokyo.
Tokyo sighs and replies with a word: “ONWORKING.”
Reporters at Work: Does a Bit of Acting Make You a Con Man?
By Jack Limpert
Here’s how going to a Nationals-Phillies baseball game with a journalist can bring back the famous Janet Malcolm line about reporters: “He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and then betraying them without remorse.”