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Cover of My Next Novel

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Dear Readers: For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting my next book, you will soon be rewarded! THE SUITOR will be published in May just in time for you to have a great summer read. I’m pleased to share the cover with you today. Every good story answers a key question. THE SUITOR: What does a father do when he vehemently opposes the young man his daughter is determined to marry...

The Juice is Gone

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It’s my first job in the corporate world. I work at a software company called MapInfo, a supposedly cool tech company. And yet today there’s a television on in the cafeteria and there must be a hundred people gathered around it to watch the verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder trial that had captured our entire nation’s attention. Former NFL star, ad pitchman, and film actor Simpson had been...

Sunbeams Aren’t Made Like Kurt

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You learn a little more about this guy and you might not be so disdainful of the “tortured artist” cliché. No, this post is not about me. Kurt Cobain was a wildly talented musician and lyricist, and he fought his depression and addiction demons to the death—his own—joining the “27 Club” of musicians and other artists who died at that age: Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix...

Ode to an Ice Storm

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First the freezing rain fell and the world turned to glass until the temperature climbed just enough and the ice became rain, just rain, torrential and unrelenting for hour upon hour under heavy iron skies until the thermometer dropped back down and the rain froze again and the snow soon followed with jaw-dropping ambition, the inches quickly piling up, nature flexing its heavy muscles, and then...

A Writer of Very, Very Short Stories

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I once again got to take advantage of living in the same community that is home to the New York State Writer’s Institute. I haven’t been attending many of their events this year because the writers they’ve been scheduling haven’t been that compelling to me. Just like with the publishing industry, the Writer’s Institute is placing significant emphasis on writers and voices that have historically...

I’ve Got My Father’s Longines

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My father, Bob (1927), and Harriet’s father, Joe (1926), were born a year apart. They both served in the Pacific in World War II. They both went to college on the GI bill that paid their way. They both married, led professional lives, and raised families—Bob in Buffalo and Joe in Brooklyn. They both lived into their eighties. They also had almost identical Longines wristwatches from the same era...

Not Exactly Winter Hiking

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March in the Northeast mountains is known as mud season: melting snow, heavy streams, mashed potato mud, and stretches of hardened ice on the trails. Everyone says stay away. But we couldn’t. The day was too beautiful. Hunter Mountain is the second tallest peak in the Catskills, but it’s easily accessible by hiking a trail up the backside of the mountain. We were prepared for mud...

Was This a Senior Moment, or Just a Shivery One?

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Owen said I had a senior moment. I’m old enough to qualify for one. But I think what happened was more due to environmental conditions. I flew back alone from Florida last week, while Harriet stayed on, and I arrived in Albany on a dark, cold evening, with temperatures around twenty degrees and the winds gusting at twenty-five miles an hour, making the wind chill 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit (using the...

“The Zone of Interest”

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About “The Zone of Interest,” long-time movie critic Manohla Dargis at the New York Times wrote, “Jonathan Glazer has made a hollow, self-aggrandizing art-film exercise set in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.” I couldn’t disagree more. This film, loosely based on the plot of a novel by British writer Martin Amis, packed an emotional punch whose pain lingers in me days later. I’m more convinced...

A Lesson in Forest Management

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There was a bit of sadness at the estate today—two trees had to be taken down. A mulberry and a red maple. Both of them were already mature trees when we moved here 28 years ago. I loved them both. The shy mulberry stayed mostly hidden and out of the way in our side-yard wilds, but it was a double-trunk tree, and one of the trunks was split into two sections, both leaning badly, one capable of...

The Tragedy of Oscar-nominated Short Films

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I tell myself I won’t but I do it every year: I go to see the Oscar-nominated Live Action Short Films that my local theater shows. I say I’m not going because invariably the films are extremely depressing and tragic, as if short films (most are thirty minutes or less) are required to be about death, war, tragedy, and trauma to be relevant. While there is no such requirement, again this year...

Tree Trunk In My Way

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For someone who often willingly glues himself to his desk, I’m a physical, movement-oriented person. I need to exercise, do things, play things. I like to compete. I love to test my limits. And as lucky as I’ve been and as devoted as I am to my fitness, my limits are a lot closer than they used to be. The bar is no longer getting higher. It’s only dropping lower. About two years ago I wrote about...

“When We Were Orphans,” Kazuo Ishiguro

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Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the world’s most respected novelists, having won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017 based on a body of work of only seven novels and one collection of short fiction. I say “only” because many Nobel Prize winners have a much larger oeuvre. But Ishiguro’s work has a distinct and unique voice. He’s unlike any writer I’ve come across. His novels feature...

Riveting, Suspenseful, Drama

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I was perusing the offerings on Netflix recently and ended up watching nothing. That’s because I was so absorbed by the three-word tags that Netflix has appended to every movie or series title. Understated, Inspiring, Dramedy Gruesome, Suspenseful, Horror As different titles and their accompanying graphics and text tags were presented to me, one after the other, each one shown just long enough...

What We Talk About When We Talk About . . .

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Back in 2020, I listed “The Most Important Novels in My Life” (including a couple of short story collections). I stated my goal of re-reading these twenty-five books to discover my top ten. I’ve bailed on ever being able to pick a top ten, but I’ve re-read most of the books on my list and just finished Raymond Carver’s collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, originally published in...

“Therein Lies the Brilliance of This Book”

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Readers bring their own expectations and perceptions to a reading experience, and may interpret or connect with a novel in ways an author had never considered. Maybe they see a character trait or motivation that the author didn’t consciously write. Or they find a different meaning in a crucial plot point than the author intended. I’m fascinated when this happens because it reinforces the dynamic...

Greet or Ignore that Passing Stranger?

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I live in a mostly friendly suburban town, where people often greet or at least acknowledge another person when walking past them on the street. But the other day Jim and I were walking in the neighborhood when we reached a corner at the same time as a couple coming from the other direction. They were in conversation; so were we. Jim said hi. I waved. They completely ignored our presence even...

The Fleeting Flavor of Fruit Stripe Gum

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It’s Christmas morning. And my birthday. I’m not sure what age: old enough to know better, yet young enough to think I can get away with it. The living room is in tatters after five kids rip open their Christmas presents. In our stockings are individual packs of Fruit Stripe gum. Five juicy flavors! My favorite! We have to get ready for Mass but I beg my parents to let me have just one stick of...

New Year, New Me?

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I’m into my fifth year of writing this blog and have averaged well north of one hundred twenty posts a year. I’ve written through times of joy and grief. I’ve posted during periods of personal unrest and bursting creativity. I’ve complained and celebrated, praised and pilloried. I’ve carefully researched and carelessly spouted. But for the first time since I’ve started, I’ve gone more than two...

A Year in Review

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Are you tired of all the end-of-year lists yet? The best movies, the acclaimed books, the top photographs, the most important news stories, the famous people who’ve died, the five best/five worst plays for the Bills . . . Well, here’s one more for you, dear loyal readers: the year in review on this blog. I published 112 posts this year, although in the last couple of months my rate of posting has...

David Klein

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

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