Bags, ready to go

Beautiful West Texas viewed from above

My orchid in Paris 2010

Au Jardin des Plantes, Paris 2010

Barton Springs 2009

Hawk in the Library of Congress. Photo credit to come.

Reports of a sort


January 30, 2011

Tonight I had dinner with former colleagues, so recently "former" that I still felt a part of the group. We were most (two were unable to come) of the women full professors in the English Department at the University of Texas at Austin.

The conversation—about work and balance in a full life, and about being in a privileged position as a professor—reminded me of my late friend Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, author of Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village, a book that's been in print longer than fifty years. She worked unsparingly as a mentor, teacher, writer, organizer of conferences, filmmaker, hostess of fabulous dinners and parties, good friend. She wrote about women in the Arab world, and gave many women writers from the Middle East a voice in English through translation and finding publishers for their work.

She and I exchanged shopping bags full of paperback mysteries. We didn't always like the same books but shared the enjoyment of losing ourselves in a good read. Neither of us really cared who did it.

I miss her.

The Mother Who Stayed

Story Collections
Winedale Books, 2001.
"Furman’s portraits of her characters are rich in telling details, showing them utterly and convincingly rooted in their worlds. Her luxuriant histories of grief are sure and exact, drawing the reader in and rarely loosening their grip." The New York Times Book Review
Viking Press, 1983
"The stories in Watch Time Fly are deceptively simple; they illustrate the way in which masterful skill can disguise itself as an innocent lack of literary self-consciousness." –Wendy Lesser, The New York Times Book Review
Summit Books, 1986;
reissued by Winedale Books in 2000
"Tuxedo Park is the best entertainment imaginable, rich in plot and event, pulling the reader from page to page as powerfully as the most suspenseful thriller. But it's also good literature. It's finely crafted, each character lovingly, carefully wrought, each scene meticulously colored and every detail palpable.... This is a book that first catches your eye and then grabs your heart. It hangs on and won't let go." — Anne Tyler, USA Today
Viking Press, 1982
Winedale Books, 1996.
"Ordinary Paradise shows how a devastating loss, acknowledged or not, can seep through the family psyche." —The New York Times Book Review
Edited Collections
“Widely regarded as the nation’s most prestigious awards for short fiction.” —The Atlantic Monthly

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