The Middle Distance 1.18.13: The Only Possible Grace
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 1.11.13: All The Light We Used to Have
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 1.4.13: Blue Nights
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 12.21.12: Reweaving the Social Fabric
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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 […]

Continue Reading


The Middle Distance 12/14/12
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 12.7.12: The Image Becomes a Phantom
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 11.30.12: Unknown Woman
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 11.16.12: The Scent of Smoke
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 11.9.12: “Honey, It’s Jest Foo-ood”
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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 […]

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading


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

The Middle Distance 8.5.11: What Was I Thinking?
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

What was I thinking? I was 15 years old and had moved with my family from the small town of Jackson to the […]

Continue Reading

News

AFP/Getty Images
May 28, 2017 | NPR · In a call for European unity, the German chancellor urged a crowd of supporters to “take our fate into our own hands,” because, she says, the two nations are no longer reliable allies.
 

AP
May 28, 2017 | NPR · Men posted lots of angry messages on Alamo Drafthouse’s social media pages. The Drafthouse responded by scheduling additional women-only screenings.
 

AP
May 28, 2017 | NPR · The rampage happened at three separate locations in the county, and suspect Willie Corey Godbolt said that he intended to commit “suicide by cop.” The state’s governor called it a “senseless tragedy.”
 

Arts & Life

May 28, 2017 | NPR · Yes, he was the captain of the Enterprise, but William Shatner is also a dedicated horseman and founder of the Hollywood Charity Horse Show. His love of horses is on display in his charming new book.
 

May 28, 2017 | NPR · “House of Cards” returns to Netflix for its fifth season. But it’s the first season of the political thriller in the age of President Trump. And the series brings a new twist on modern politics.
 

May 28, 2017 | NPR · Sarah Gailey’s alternate-history romp takes place in a United States that went ahead with a wild plan to farm hippos for meat. It’s a delightful read that suffers only from being too short.
 

Music

Betto Arcos
May 28, 2017 | NPR · Michel Martin speaks with DJ Betto Arcos to get his highlights from the FIMPRO music festival in Guadalajara, Mexico.
 

May 28, 2017 | WXPN · His 2011 record, Low Country Blues, was his first in 14 years. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, Blues featured covers of legendary artists like B.B. King and Muddy Waters.
 

Getty Images
May 28, 2017 | NPR · As the album turns 50, critic Colin Fleming argues that the cultural impact of Peter Blake’s iconic record sleeve equaled that of the music.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab