The Middle Distance 1.18.13: The Only Possible Grace
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My friend Cate said she squirmed through the first half of Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen’s comedy film The Guilt Trip, seeing a bit too much of herself in Streisand’s character, Joyce, an unrelentingly overbearing Jewish […]

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The Middle Distance 1.11.13: All The Light We Used to Have
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Nearly every wall of my mother’s house is lined with tables, bookcases, or a chest with drawers. And every time I come for a stay, I go through all of those drawers, one at a […]

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The Middle Distance 1.4.13: Blue Nights
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Here is an African proverb that showed up in my email inbox on December 31: “Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty […]

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The Middle Distance 12.21.12: Reweaving the Social Fabric
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This week’s mini-blizzard provided respite I’d been hoping for — no appointments, too cold to even think of going outside voluntarily, and streets packed with snow. I stayed in with the dogs, reading and cleaning and […]

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The Middle Distance 12/14/12
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Last night on a downtown street, someone busted out the front passenger window of my car to dig around inside it. Whoever it was — a passerby who, conveniently, had a brick or a big rock in his hand […]

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The Middle Distance 12.7.12: The Image Becomes a Phantom
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In her treatise on photography, Susan Sontag said, “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” Witness any public event in the 21st century, crowd members’ arms extended outward with smartphones pointed in every direction and understand […]

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The Middle Distance 11.30.12: Unknown Woman
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She resides in a painting — a simple stretched canvas, unframed — emerging from a slate blue background, her hair and dress the same silver-gray. Her breasts sag low, as if from the natural weight of years.

She hung in […]

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The Middle Distance 11.16.12: The Scent of Smoke
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It is nearly Thanksgiving and in the early mornings my turn-of-the-20th century neighborhood smells like wood smoke. Nights are cold, the neighbors cranking up their fireplaces and wood stoves. A deadly summer wildfire season has put […]

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The Middle Distance 11.9.12: “Honey, It’s Jest Foo-ood”
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In a parallel life, I think I might have been a cafeteria lady, baking industrial sized trays of yeast rolls every morning in a stainless steel kitchen, ladeling out clouds of mashed potatoes and smothering them […]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn wonders where to best place her worry during the Frankenstorm.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn embraces the obsessive mathematics of aging.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn tugs at the long tail of gun violence and its current literature.

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In this week’s Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ruminates on the struggle for faith.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn gathers seeds from her garden and remembers the autumn of her twins’ birth.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn celebrates locavore and farmer Dan Hobbs on the occasion of his Palmer Land Trust Conservation Award.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn sees her late sister through the eyes of a ghost costume.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn walks back into her second grade classroom.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn unearths a moment in civil rights history that happened right under her nose.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn looks through the blurry lens of a toy camera into the past.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn stares into the eyes of a toothless flasher in a dirty raincoat.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn spreads her toes across years of shoeless memories.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ties two summer films together with the unlikely string of far-fetched fantasy.

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(Cybil Shepherd, center, after winning the Miss Teenage Mephmis Pageant in 1966)

The Middle Distance 8.5.11: What Was I Thinking?
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What was I thinking? I was 15 years old and had moved with my family from the small town of Jackson to the […]

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News

Meredith Rizzo/NPR
July 23, 2016 | NPR · A shy woman becomes a brave warrior princess. A man calls on Captain America to help him lose 45 pounds. In costume role play they become part of a community where they can transform themselves.
 

July 22, 2016 | NPR · Ex-Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, was elected to be Democrat Tim Kaine’s lieutenant when he was governor. Bolling describes his years with Kaine and offers tips for being a good No. 2.
 

July 22, 2016 | NPR · Tim Kaine has worn many hats in Virginia politics: Richmond mayor, governor, senator. He’s also a recognizable face at a majority-black Catholic church in Richmond — and has been for 30 years.
 

Arts & Life

LA Times via Getty Images
July 22, 2016 | NPR · At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, one of the biggest phenomena isn’t just inside the convention center, it’s all around: Swarms of people staring at their phones as they play Pokémon Go.
 

National Geographic Museum
July 22, 2016 | NPR · The news out of Greece has been terrible. But with a large new exhibition of ancient artifacts at Washington, D.C.’s National Geographic Museum, the Greek government is trying an image reboot.
 

July 22, 2016 | NPR · Author Marjorie Liu is nominated for two Eisners, the most prestigious awards in comics. She writes young adult fantasy books that cover topics that include war, women and steam punk gadgetry.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
July 22, 2016 | NPR · Back in 1995, the young pianist demonstrated extraordinary talent on standards.
 

WXPN
July 22, 2016 | WXPN · The Coloradan, formerly of Paper Bird, releases her inner rocker on her new album, We Were Wild.
 

KCRW
July 22, 2016 | NPR · The brother-sister duo recalls its hometown of Chicago in the title track from its album Dreamland.
 

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