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- March 2014: Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece
- February 2014: Forged: Why Fakes are the Great Art of Our Age
- January 2014: Full Upright and Locked Position by Mark Gerchick '73, P'13
- December 2013: This Indian Country by Fred Hoxie '69
- November 2013: The Partner Track by Helen Wan '95
- October 2013: The Forage House by Tess Taylor '99
- September 2013: Inferno by Dan Brown '86
- August 2013: Six Years by Harlan Coben '84, P'16
- July 2013: The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein '88
- June 2013 - Brothers Emanuel by Ezekiel Emanuel '79
- May 2013 - Cadaver by Jonah Ansell '03
- April 2013 - Masters of Disaster by Chris Lehane '90
- March 2013 - Schroder by Amity Gaige
- February 2013: El Iluminado by Ilan Stavans
- January 2013: Everything Under the Sun by David Suzuki '58
- December 2012: Arcadia by Lauren Groff
- November 2012: The Hidden Europe by Francis Tapon '92
- October 2012: The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz '64
- September 2012: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum '99
- August 2012: Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski '69
- July 2012: Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach '93
- June 2012: Vineyard at the End of the World by Ian Mount '92
- May 2012: God's Jury by Cullen Murphy '74
- April 2012: Big Birthday by Kate Hosford '88
- March 2012: EyeMinded by Kellie Jones '81
- February 2012: 1493 by Charles Mann '76
- December 2011: The Vices by Lawrence Douglas
- November 2011: Don't Cross Your Eyes by Aaron Carroll '94
- October 2011: Come On All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder '89
- September 2011: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace '85
- August 2011: Scoundrels in Law by Cait Murphy '83
- July 2011: Terror and Wonder by Blair Kamin '79
- June 2011: What Should I Do? by Professor Alex George
- May 2011: Model Nazi by Professor Catherine Epstein
- April 2011: A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei '99
- March 2011: Unlikely Allies by Joel Paul '77
- February 2011: Secret Historian by Justin Spring '84
- December 2010: The Best of Foxtrot by Bill Amend '84
- November 2010: Higher Education? by Andrew Hacker '51
- October 2010: Routes of Man by Ted Conover '80
- September 2010: The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick '75
- August 2010: Innocent by Scott Turow '70
- July 2010: Simple Fresh Southern by Matt and Ted Lee '93
- June 2010: Ballet's Magic Kingdom by Professor Stanely Rabinowitz
- May 2010: Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman '68
- April 2010: Andean Express by Adrian Althoff '04
- March 2010: Freefall by Joseph Stiglitz '64
- February 2010: Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl '89
- December 2009: What to Read When by Pam Allyn '84
- November 2009: On Poets and Poetry by William H. Pritchard '53
- October 2009: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell '95
- September 2009: Rules for Old Men Waiting by Peter Pouncey
- August 2009: The End of Overeating by David Kessler '73
- July 2009: The Mirror Effect by Dr. Drew Pinsky '80
- June 2009: Art and Politics of Science by Harold Varmus '61
- May 2009: Hold Tight by Harlan Coben '84
- April 2009: Passing Strange by Marni Sandweiss
- March 2009: Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian '82
- February 2009: Loneliness as a Way of Life by Tom Dumm
- January 2009: Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein '88
- December 2008: The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff '01
- November 2008: The Most Famous Man in America by Debby Applegate '89
- October 2008: The Thing Itself by Dick Todd '62
- September 2008: Are We Rome by Cullen Murphy '74
Innocent - An Excerpt
Nat, September 30, 2008
A man is sitting on a bed. He is my father.
The body of a woman is beneath the covers. She was my mother.
This is not really where the story starts. Or how it ends. But it is the moment my mind returns to, the way I always see them.
According to what my father will soon tell me, he has been there, in that room, for nearly twenty-three hours, except for bathroom breaks. Yesterday, he awoke, as he does most weekdays at half past six and could see the mortal change as soon as he glanced back at my mother, just as his feet had found his slippers. He rocked her shoulder, touched her lips. He pumped the heel of his palm against her sternum a few times but her skin was cool as clay. Her limbs were already moving in a piece, like a mannequin’s.
He will tell me he sat then, in a chair across from her. He never cried. He thought, he will say. He does not know how long, except that the sun had moved all the way across the room, when he finally stood again and began to tidy obsessively.
He will say he put the three or four books she was always reading back on the shelf. He hung up the clothes she had a habit of piling on the chaise in front of her dressing mirror, then made the bed around her, pulling the sheets and blanket tight, folding the spread down evenly, before laying her hands out like a doll’s on the satin binding of the blanket. He threw out two of the flowers that had wilted in the vase on her bedside table and straightened the papers and magazines on her desk.
He will tell me he called no one, not even the paramedics because he was certain she was dead. He did not answer the phone although it rang several times. Almost an entire day will have passed before he realizes he must contact me.
But how can she be dead, I will ask. She was fine two nights ago when we were together. After a freighted second, I will tell my father, She didn’t kill herself.
No, he will agree at once.
She wasn’t in that kind of mood.
It was her heart, he will say then. It had to be her heart. And her blood pressure. Your grandfather died the same way.
Are you going to call the police?
The police, he will say after a time. Why would I call the police?
Well, Christ, Dad. You’re a judge. Isn’t that what you do when someone dies suddenly? I was crying by now. I didn’t know when I had started.
I was going to phone the funeral home, he will tell me, but I realized you might want to see her before I did that.
Well, shit, well, yes I want to see her.
As it happens, the funeral home will tell us to call our family doctor, and he in turn will summon the coroner, who will send the police. It will become a long morning, and then a longer afternoon with dozens of people moving in and out of the house. The coroner will not arrive for nearly six hours. He will be alone with my mom’s body for only a minute, before asking my dad’s permission to make an index of all the medications she took. An hour later, I will pass my parents’ bathroom and see a cop standing slack-jawed before the open medicine cabinet, a pen and pad in hand.
Jesus, he will declare.
Bi-polar disorder, I will tell him, when he finally notices me. She had to take a lot of pills. In time, he will simply sweep the shelves clean and go off with a garbage bag containing all the bottles.
In the meanwhile, every so often another police officer will arrive and ask my father about what happened. He tells the story again and again, always the same way.
What was there to think about all that time, one cop will ask.
My dad can have a hard way with his blue eyes, something he probably learned from his own father, a man he despised.
Officer, are you married?
I am, Judge.
Then you know what there was to think about. Life, he will answer. Marriage. Her.
The police will make him go through his account three or four more times—how he sat there and why. His response will never vary. He will answer every question in his usual contained manner, the stolid man of law who looks out on life as an endless sea.
He will tell them how he moved each item.
He will tell them where he spent each hour.
But he will not tell anybody about the girl.