AuthorDavid Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

MOLLY’S GAME

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The title turned me off at first. Molly’s Game. Sounded young adult or chick flick, two genres I don’t watch often. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice the film when it came out in 2017. But then I discovered Jessica Chastain was the star. She’s on my list. She appeared in two movies I thought were excellent and I highly recommend: Take Shelter (she plays the wife of Michael Shannon, another...

A Walk On the Ice

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Cross here? What do you think? Looks pretty good. Better than downstream. The ice is strong right here. Just a little slush on top. What about out the middle? I don’t know. It looks okay. How deep is the water? Just a couple of feet here. But out there, over your head. Great. What do you think? Sun’s out. It’s a warm day. You don’t think we should? What are we going to do on the other side? I...

There’s a Lot Going On Behind a Simple Email

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That’s an email I got from my literary agent, about a year ago. How I appreciate the beauty and precision of a clear and concise email. I’ve given workshops called “Mastering Business Email.” I hammer on the need to be clear and concise in your purpose, meaning, and word choice.  My agent, although she didn’t attend my workshop, checked all the boxes on that email. There’s also the...

What Mom Told Vince, She Told Me

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I would have been twelve, thirteen, this moment I’m remembering. My mom, Irene Klein, was back at work part time taking X-rays for an orthopedic group, my dad working long executive hours. Vince was my mother’s young work colleague and she’d him invited to have dinner with us. My sibs and I squeezed him in at our sagging plank table on the screened porch, sticky fly traps dangling overhead. Vince...

Joan Didion–THE CENTER WILL NOT HOLD

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“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” The author of that line, Joan Didion, is a rare breed in America: a literary writer with rock star status. I finally had the pleasure of watching the 2017 Netflix documentary about Didion, The Center Will Not Hold. The film expertly compiles and edits conversation with the 82-year-old Didion, interviews, and historical footage and...

The Black Chemistry

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One of those goddamn depth-of-winter days when the snow is sooty, the sky relentless gray, the trees dismal brown. You force yourself out for a run and make it as far as the cemetery but sure enough your foot aches, you step in a deep cold puddle, and you’re going to die someday. This chaotic black chemistry that is you. Then the freezing rain starts like someone mocking me. I lower my gaze...

Ode to Valentine’s Day

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We didn’t exchange cards this year. We didn’t even send Valentine’s to the kids, who are now young adults. It’s not that we’re not filled with love—we are. But a manufactured day of love doesn’t move the needle for me. I’m not sure when I first started eschewing this holiday. Certainly not when I was a kid, when my mom would overdose us with candy conversation hearts, cinnamon red hot hearts, and...

Updated Vaccine Priority List

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Illustration by Peter Hamlin You can only get the shot if you are designated 1A. You can get the shot if you are a health care worker. You can get the shot if you fly an airplane. You can get the shot if you live/work in a nursing home. You can get the shot if you work in a restaurant. If you are clever and devious enough to cut the line. You can get the shot if you are tech-savvy and can...

“I Was Allowed to Believe . . .”

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Sadly, U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene was not a student in one of my writing classes. If she had been, she never would have come up with this statement constructed in the passive voice: “I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true.”MTG A general rule in writing is to choose the active voice over the passive voice. Here’s the difference between them: If MTG had been using the...

“Passing” as a Different Person

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I recently read The Vanishing Half (review here), about a young, light-skinned Black woman who makes the life-altering decision to pass as white, and the anxiety and stress that dog her life from that point on while trying to protect her secret. The novel, written by a young Black author, Britt Bennett, is currently a New York Times bestseller. After reading The Vanishing Half, I turned to...

Skating on a Winter Night

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To feel young again on a chilled winter night skating on a frozen pond across the choppy ice To feel young chasing a puck and slapping your stick calling for a pass or attempting one More than scoring a goal your goal is to remain uprightand not smack your brittle bones on ice as hard as concrete To feel the freeze in your fingertips and the run in your nose To hear your skate blades carving...

My Two Favorite Blogs

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This blog post is about blogs, so it’s a meta post. I have two favorite blogs that I regularly read. One is published daily, while the other comes to my inbox twice a week. I know and love some people who are having a hard time right now. Two of the biggest reasons are a feeling of isolation and loneliness due to the pandemic, and anxiety and distress over the fraught political situation and...

INTERIOR CHINATOWN — Charles Yu

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The narrative structure and storytelling of Charles Wu’s quick-read “Interior Chinatown” are like no other novel I’ve read—and I’ve read a lot of them. It’s part screenplay for a cop show—Black and White—being filmed at the Golden Palace restaurant, and part interior monologue of the protagonist Willis Wu, who plays Generic Asian Man/Dead Asian Man/Background Oriental in the margins of the show...

Ask Dave: Vol. 7, Number 34

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Sometimes I’ll reproduce here an interesting letter that I get at my other site, an advice column that I write. Here’s one that came in recently. Dear Dave: I’ve been trying to stay clean because when I don’t, things tend to happen. For example, last night when I felt the desire to use I went out for a walk. I’ve been told this is a self-care strategy that can tamp down the urge. It...

The Inevitable Decline

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The guardrail is only about eighteen inches high, a modest barrier dividing a path from a road along one of my favorite running routes. I always leap over the guardrail. It’s more a hop than a leap, since the obstacle is not very tall. No planning required, no lining up the jump, just taking the next stride with a bit higher lift. Yes, that puny guardrail almost tripped me up. Then the...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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