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NEWS: A Buddhist Experiential Retreat for Women, 17-22 November 2017
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Decades ago, when I was in the 8th grade, our English teacher, Lois Josephs, led me and my classmates out to the meadow behind our school.  We brought with us notebook, pen, and youthful curiosity.   "Find a spot that interests you," she said, "and look at it closely for twenty minutes.  Take a few notes, but mostly let yourself discover what you didn’t know was there.  Pretend you are seeing what's in front of you for the first time.  Stay open to surprise."

That instruction continues to serve me, more than fifty years later.  My writing vocation , my teaching life and my spiritual practice have followed the single thread which Mrs. Josephs offered as an ‘exercise.’  Stay open to surprise. Pretend you are seeing what's in front of you for the first time. Those words have became a lifetime's guidance, a support in times of pain, a challenge to wake up when I am asleep, and a sacred summons to meet things as they truly are. 

 

The Reason for Wings

"Kornblatt’s lyrical narrative blends Singer's magic realism with Wiesel's sorrowful morality and Borges's elegant storytelling. Inventive in language and imagery, Kornblatt conveys the ways by which one family survives, continually reimagining itself, unearthing the painful past so that the newest heir may honor, and remember, her remarkable ancestors." - Publisher's Weekly

 

White Water

"In her 1985 novel, White Water, Joyce Reiser Kornblatt told the story of the Fry family at a moment of transition, the marriage of a daughter and granddaughter, through five first-person accounts, each an independent short story. The form itself was a metaphor for the author's theme: however separate and alienated these people may be from one another, family connectedness and domestic love provide the only 'buffer against the world's travails,' the only 'raft in white water.''' - The Sunday New York Times Book Review

 

"In White Water you'll hear exactly the way that people speak; the omissions are as important as the black squares on a crossword puzzle. The novel is a kind of puzzle about people who once fit together and who stay together in important ways even when they do not encounter each other. Kornblatt's prose is beautiful, and the novel is layered so that we peer into a cat's cradle of sad and surprising truths." - Ann Beattie

 

Breaking Bread

"The theme of the book, and its title, are from W. H. Auden: 'Through art, we are able to break bread with the dead, and without communion with the dead a fully human life is impossible.' The lives in Breaking Bread are the narrator's sacred dead. Whether they are also the author's is a speculation she invites and evades. The narrative voice is strong, clear, womanly - this is someone you believe, whether she is relating the simple and circumstantial events of daily life or the convoluted histories of flight and resettlement she can only have heard second- or third-hand or, as she tells us, 'dreamed.' One of the many pleasures is the richness of detail, the layering of meanings - and the suggestive uncertainty whether this is augmented memoir or elegant fiction sculpted on the slight armature of memory." - The Sunday New York Times Book Review

 

Nothing to Do With Love

"Splendidly alive....Kornblatt's fiction explores the dark corners between parents and children with haunting, sharp-eyed clarity and rueful humor." - The Sunday New York Times Book Review.