N O N - F I C T I O N   I N D E X  (2001 to the present)

"What—and give up show business?" A harrowing look at one aspect of the film music business, by Stuart Vail.
Adult film star Kay Taylor Parker divulges her personal path of healing in a chapter from her new book, TABOO: Sacred, Don't Touch (An Autobiographical Journey Spanning Six-Thousand Years). As the back cover notes say, "Sometimes you have to go back whence you came to remember what you came here for."
Faithful readers of TheScreamOnline are quite familiar with our "open season" policy on those who ravage, pillage, and rape (known as RPR) the English language in their everyday speech. New York writer Maggie Balistreri sums it all up with "The Evasion-English Dictionary."
"Silence," by Danusha Goska, describes the silence in her own home as her immigrant parents worked, unsuccessfully, to totally assimilate to the English language and American culture, and the silence in the wider culture about immigrants of Eastern European origin. The essay delivers wonderfully visceral phrases such as "...meals of smoked pig fat and fistfuls of raw hot chilies."
"Unless you return to the past and touch it, you stand in place. The fear of returning is the fear of the future." In "Return to Warsaw" Helen Degen Cohen relates her 1989 visit to the woman who hid her from the Nazis during WWII.
There is fame and fortune and then there's living under the freeway overpass with a shopping cart. Somewhere in the middle is the subject of Peter Clothier's fine essay, "On Not Being Rich and Famous."
Kenneth C. Balcomb died on Christmas Day in 1979 at age 88. He was a civil engineer, businessman, world traveler, painter, and author of two published books. The Dogs in My Life is one of his many unpublished works—a book that will bring tears to your eyes and make you laugh out loud. Of the 14 dogs he owned during his life, we are proud to present "Queen."
While churning up "buckets of stomach acid and stress," the living legacy of Tsar Alexander II drives the editor in a hair-raising ride down the 101, hilariously related in "The Tsar's Thumb."
Danusha Veronica Goska exposes our own dis-ease and the uglier, sadder side of human nature when we tend to shun those afflicted with a debilitating illness. "A Small Miracle" is an account of her changing relationships with the government, her employer, and even her friends. It is also an amazing testament to the real strength of the human spirit.
Jan Henrickson's "Slave Traders in the Family" relates how Jim Perry and his family came to terms with the terrible legacy of their notorious ancestor, James D'Wolf, speaker of the Rhode Island House, U.S. Senator, and one of the richest slave traders in American history.
"My Life in Post-Modernism" by John Guzlowski.
"The Power of Silence" by Stuart Vail.
In "‘The Illusion of Protection': Two Travelers Speak of Home" Danusha Goska brilliantly contributes to that great pantheon of Letters from the Road in which she, as one who has never really had one, tries to define the concept of home.
Alexander Woollcott's "Miss Kitty Takes to the Road" of 1934 is both an indictment of that period's attitude toward live theater and an account of the circumstances surrounding the most amazing opening night performance ever to occur in the history of theater.
"No Pain, No Gain" deals with the pain of love, the pain of parents' expectations, the pain of not being accepted, the pain of jobs, money problems, failures, and lost dreams, and how all that fits into our own capacity to love others—by Stuart Vail.
We abuse and neglect it, we despise it, yet we wish we had more of it. Robert Grudin's Time and the Art of Living brilliantly analyzes our love/hate relationship with Time and shows us that we each need to understand and appreciate, at every step of the way, our own "position between the entrance and exit of life."
Film and televison composer David Bell (Murder, She Wrote; Star Trek: Voyager) suffered through a painfull divorce that cost $250,000, only to end up with a legal settlement that is exactly what he and his wife initially, and amicably, agreed upon. His Divorce: Making the Break is an invaluable guide to avoiding the pitfalls of this all-too-common tragedy, with special focus on the ultimate victims, the children.
All throughout Rob Woutat's "Dakota Boy: A Childhood in Memory" are references to historical and cultural elements (WWII, the Korean War, the death of Stalin, Eisenhower, the McCarthy era, Krushev, the payola scandal, Mickey Mantle, sock hops, Butch Wax, and Brylchreme), providing a rich backdrop and a wonderful sense of time and place in the context of a sheltered Dakotan upbringing.
In 1943, while demonstrating to a physics class that airplanes can fly backwards, Frederick H.C. Schultz learned that timing is everything in "Vectoring Backwards."
"First Ticket," by David McHugh, describes a lesson in accountability for his teenage son.
"Tomfoolery," Sonja Mongar's narrative of how her family copes with the murder of a brother, is a story of disruption and fragmentation, and does not offer a resolution. She has created a unique hypertext environment that presents alternative conventions of narrative space, structure, movement, and time.
"Confessions of a Shanty Irishman" is a chronicle of Michael Corrigan's life as a member of a fiercely proud, "priest-ridden race" of hard-drinking, fighting, and argumentative San Francisco Irish-Americans for whom "alcohol was a sacrament" and religion and politics were never far away.
So, why are breasts masculine? Find out in "Gender Politics" by Gail Armstrong.
Reams of treaties can't avert wars, but a tiny piece of sticky paper can start one, in "Stamped With Blood," an essay from 1938.
Hanah Exley visited Xining, China, in 1990 to attend the annual "Sunning of the Buddha" festival. Read her account of this most unusual ceremony, richly illustrated with her photographs.
In "Computer Intelligence," the editor writes, "Asleep at the wheel, dolt at the helm—call it what you will—it's usually impossible to be guilt-free in the face of a very logic-based machine."
Rob Woutat finds it difficult to impress upon his teenage son the frugal sensibilities laid down by Henry David Thoreau in "Henry Thoreau Goes To The Prom."
It's all about priorities in Stuart Vail's "I Haven't Got the Time." When it comes down to it, you are really the only one writing your own script.
As a companion piece to Ronny Leva's photographs of Cuba, Jerry Sierra chronicles the corrupt, U.S.-supported government of Fulgenico Batista and how he was overthrown by Castro.
Dinty Moore's "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Mescaline, and Chevrolet" is an essay utilizing a passage from Aldous Huxley's Doors of Perception. And it's a riot of a read!
Nothing is in my eyes more precious than a bridge, opines Erica Johnson Debeljak in "The Market and the Three Bridges, a Portrait of Ljubljana."
My family is a muster of peacocks. We have all eaten our share of poison words served with closed fists. In time we all finally pushed away from the table, some farther than others, angry and wounded. So writes K. Willis Morton in "Under Butterfly Wings."
Teaching in a prison, you learn to listen to the walls. At first you can't wait to get out, but then you discover that the place — and still more, the people — have a hold on you that will last forever. Lyn Halper tells how it happens in her beautifully crafted memoir, "The Walls Sing."
Robert Grudin lines up the likes of Giovanni Boccacchio, Vittorio da Feltre, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and Frederick Douglass to discuss "The Education of the Vulgar," from his manuscript The American Vulgar.
As if homo sapiens weren't already ridiculous enough, with his hairless body, upright posture, and swollen cranium, the species had to go and evolve a capacity for romantic love. But, in fact, it is this crowning eccentricity that makes the rest of the package viable, or so John Kilgore argues, in "Love and Biology."
"On January 29, 2002, President George W. Bush famously referred to Iraq, North Korea, and Iran as an ‘axis of evil' threatening world order. In so doing, he invoked a Christian idea of ‘evil' that is dauntingly complex, including, as it does, everything from sexual indulgence to diabolical genius." Read "Homer and the Birth of Consciousness," from Chapter Seven from his new book "American Vulgar."
"It takes about three seconds. I am in the passenger's seat, searching through the campground guide to find a place to park our 30-foot pull-behind camper, when something — a swaying of my seat perhaps, a quick intake of breath — makes me look up. In a queer, high voice my wife says, ‘I can't believe this is happening!'" from "3 Seconds," by John Kilgore.
In "Acid Queen" Sonja Mongar gives us a glimpse into the life of Cyd, her fourteen-going-on-fifteen-year-old sister.
Michael Jackson & Mary Shelley "The Gothic is a sort of pupal stage of the erotic, a signature of the adolescent imagination. It is fantasy balking at the threshold of mature sexuality, dodging out of the boudoir into the graveyard." by John Kilgore
The Jungle "He got a tear in his eye and said it never fails that when he thinks of the Jungle he thinks of Jerry, his beloved-but-ill-fated pet monkey." by Charles Phoenix
"I Was Banned In Croatia" In an effort to keep Croatia's President, Franjo Tudjman, out of the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, the government hired Joe Tripician to pen a state-sanctioned biography for US consumption.
"White Field, Black Sheep" Two chapters from Daiva Markelis' new memoir about her Lithuanian-American family in Chicago... funny, witty, poignant, memorable.

•  A F F I L I A T E S  •

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