• autumn-road-going-home-laojia

Laojia: A Place to Call Home

October 13th, 2017|The Search for Community|

The autumn clematis smelled like vanilla and twined across the bare wood table. I’d clipped the white-flowered vines when I was picking the last of the tomatoes. They were perfect in the center of the table. Now the napkins - where were the green napkins? I had taken the train up from New York that

  • Emperor-Wu-Zetian-and-Chinese-women

Women’s Paths to Power

October 13th, 2017|Women & Leadership|

From "Paths to Power" by Karen Christensen, a chapter in the book Women & Leadership edited by George R. Goethals and Crystal A. Hoyt, Jepson Leadership Academy, University of Richmond (Berkshire 2017): A common English-language expression is that “behind every great man there’s a woman.” These women have been largely invisible, praised for their self-effacement and their

  • happy-bags-shopping-japan

Don’t Call Me A Green Consumer

October 13th, 2017|Home Ecology|

It was the early 1990s and “green” was going corporate. A book called The Green Consumer Guide had become a bestseller in the UK. I lived in London and my first book had just been published; Americans would turn up now and then to nose around. Debra Lyn Dadd, who wrote about nontoxic living, came

Valerie Fletcher Eliot, born this day in 1926

August 17th, 2016|Writing a Woman's Life|

Today would be Valerie Fletcher Eliot’s 90th birthday. I’ve been thinking about the reserved girl whose schoolmates I’ve visited in different parts of England over the past two years. I have met wonderful old ladies whose energy and vivacity gives me hope for my own future decades. None knew Valerie well. She was that quiet