From the Ground Up: Remembering 9/11

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was a Washingtonian, living near the Pentagon and working as an education reporter. As I darted to the subway, the sky glowed a crystalline blue. Later, everyone from D.C. to New York exchanged stories about the otherworldly brightness of that morning. How

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Book Review: Love and Ruin

When the Allies stormed five beaches in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, 160,000 troops swung into action—along with one woman. Martha Gellhorn, a war correspondent, was the only female to join their ranks. She was the first journalist to reach the beaches and report on what

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Ten Things All Writers Must Do

Once I decided to write a book, I wanted help. My years as a journalist had taught me that any piece worth reading was the result of strong partnerships between writers and editors. So I launched a critique group. It was one of the best things I

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Big-City Reflections

It’s been almost a decade since I became a mom. I picked Chicago as the birthplace of my first-born, Noah. It was my first gift to him. The city is packed with years of memories and firsts for me. Now he can say the same. Though we’ve

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