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

AFP/Getty Images
May 25, 2017 | NPR · The Pentagon reportedly believes a building where scores of civilians died after a U.S. airstrike in Mosul was either used to store bombs or rigged with explosives.
 

May 25, 2017 | NPR · It’s calledThe Border Wall Funding Act of 2017.” And it would place a new tax on money being wired to Latin America and the Caribbean.
 

NPR
May 25, 2017 | NPR · Politics in Haines, Alaska — population 2,500 — has grown intensely bitter lately, reflecting the volume and heat of national politics.
 

Arts & Life

May 25, 2017 | NPR · The great American dancer Isadora Duncan led a tragic life, and her worst year — just after the deaths of her first two children in an accident, forms the core of Amelia Gray’s powerful new novel.
 

May 24, 2017 | NPR · The new ABC version of Dirty Dancing will air on television Wednesday night. NPR looks at the legacy of Dirty Dancing and why it’s been a favorite — albeit corny — movie over generations.
 

Courtesy of Unicornland
May 24, 2017 | NPR · Unconventional relationships are all over TV. Open marriages and three-ways have driven stories on scripted shows like House of Cards, Transparent and Orphan Black — and reality TV isn’t far behind.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
May 25, 2017 | NPR · Coffman’s first album since leaving Dirty Projectors reads like a love letter to the act of going solo, in life as in music.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 25, 2017 | NPR · A studio session with Kanye led to a new album that finds the soul eccentric extending his fatherly compassion, and a helping of funk, to the world at large.
 

Neil Krug
May 25, 2017 | NPR · Booker’s second studio album is inspired by a society that disproportionately harms black bodies, and what he saw as his own lack of effort to do anything about it.
 

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