Lewis Hine’s Children

Read about the work Joe Manning has done to find the descendants of the children in Lewis Hine’s child labor photographs here.

My Uncle’s “Kompromat”

From 1946 to 1958, Joseph Alsop, my uncle,

and his younger brother Stewart, my father,

wrote a syndicated political column for the New York Herald Tribune. At its height, “Matter of Fact” appeared in more than 250 newspapers. Today, decades later, an incident involving Joe Alsop, Russian intelligence, and a so-called “honey trap” Read More…

I’ve found my inner rabble-rouser…

I’ve never been a confrontational person., but suddenly I can’t stand it anymore. I grew up in Washington, D.C. surrounded by politicians and newsmakers, but fled the city the moment I came of age because I wanted to write fiction. Inside the Beltway, truth is more often stranger than fiction so I felt I could Read More…

Familiarity Breeds Acceptance

Waiting to Vote on Election Day

This week more than any other time since 9/11, I’m so grateful that I live in New York where I am forced to rub up against people who are not like me. On the subway, I sit next to people of all ages and Read More…

Harriet The Spy Turns 50

I was thrilled when Random House asked me to contribute to the 50th anniversary edition of Harriet the Spy. 

Harriet M. Welsch is a girl who says what she wants (in her spy book) and defies all the dictums of her time.  She wears black, high topped sneakers and speaks the truth. I first Read More…

We need the Authors Guild now more than ever….

Dear Friends and Fellow Writers:

Please read this letter from Richard Russo.

If you’re a working writer, you need to join the Authors Guild. The support they have given me over the years in reviewing my children’s book contracts and answering my royalty questions has made an enormous difference. They taught me what I needed Read More…

Me and the NSA

I’m amused by the way everybody is freaked out about the NSA watching when we send an email and who we’re writing. I grew up in Washington, D.C., during the 1950s, the child of a political journalist.

We always assumed we were being watched, our phones tapped, our conversations recorded, our mail opened. My father  Read More…

How I wrote an essay and lived to tell the tale…

I’ve never been very good at essays.  I prefer to write stories with characters in them instead of essays where I feel I ought to come to some important conclusion. Even blog posts like this throw me. They don’t come easily. Perhaps it’s because my father, Stewart Alsop, was a columnist who wrote three 1,000 Read More…

The First of Three Mothers

I am losing three mothers this year.

My own mother died in November.  One of my best “book mothers”, Nina Ignatowicz, the editor I’d worked with for forty years, died in January. And my other “book mother,” Margery Cuyler,  a friend from college days and my other primary editor (The Castle Read More…

Waiting to Hear #2

I heard.

I received an intelligent, thoughtful, incisive first read on my new book, a memoir about my mother’s early life and her meeting my father in England during World War II.

Here’s what my first reader said.

I read this with great pleasure.

Hooray.

I would like more of you in the book, more Read More…