WRITER ~ Traveler ~ FRIEND
Growing up in a literary family, I’d always expected to write books as my prolific novelist grandfather did. But for thirty years, working in international development while raising a family left me little time to write. It was only after I retired that I found the time. In 2017, I published Blood Too Bright, a book about my grandfather’s life in Greenwich Village. In November 2021, I published Expecting the World, a memoir about my years in Africa, Asia and South America working with village women. I also blog on topics as diverse as writing, art family, friends, traveling and living abroad.
Expecting the World – Learning from Women in Left-Out Places is a memoir of my unlikely thirty-years in the male-dominated World Bank, taking a new approach to international development. It is an intimate account of my work and travel in the bustling cities and dusty villages in Africa, India, and Peru, and what I learned from the women there.
My story takes place in the last three decades of the twentieth century, encompassing world events that took place during those tumultuous years: the politics of oil, war in the Mideast, and the Egypt-Israeli peace accords of the 1970s; the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981; Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990; and the horror of September 11, 2001.
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten*
One hundred years ago, Bohemian author and editor of the radical Masses magazine, Floyd Dell, began a passionate affair with a newcomer to Greenwich Village – the yet to be discovered “girl poet,” Edna St. Vincent Millay. In the years that followed, both Dell and Millay became symbols of early twentieth century feminism, rebellion, and literary freedom.
A century later, while poring over her grandfather Floyd’s papers at Chicago’s Newberry Library, Jerri Dell discovered hundreds of handwritten letters and an unpublished memoir about his love affair with Millay. Finding him as outlandish, entertaining, and insightful as he was when she knew him fifty years before, she chose to bring him and his poet lover back to life within the pages of this book.
My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night*
Admirers of Edna Millay, as well as Bohemian Village enthusiasts and readers interested in writers who famously influenced social norms, are sure to enjoy this eye-witness account of a fascinating woman and exceptional poet.
*Excerpts from Sonnet XLIII and First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Magic of Millay
A year ago, I posted a short piece “The Ghost of Edna St. Vincent Millay” in honor of Millay's 130th birthday. In it I described the extraordinary influence she and her poetry had on my young self. What I didn’t mention was the influence she has continued to have...
Cão d’Agua – The Noble Water Dog
On a warm day in Western Maryland about fifteen years ago, my husband Terry,our friends Meg and Dave and I decided to eat outdoors at the Rocky Gap Resort. Chatting on our way from Dave’s car to the lobby, we were surprised to see dozens of dogs racing about...
As my husband Terry knows well, I have a tendency to live in my head and frequently fail to notice what’s in front of me. Had it not been for Terry calling attention to the nests high above the highway while driving back from a visit to the west coast of Portugal last...