Writing

Recently …

I’ve fallen behind a little in my updates but here are some quick ones.

The People’s Library

I covered a fascinating story about the implications of living as an undocumented immigrant in New York. I also reviewed a number of books – a biography of Sylvia Plath, which, like a few others, was published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of her death; and a memoir by the novelist, Julia O’Faolain (not quite as good as her novels).

Last year, I wrote a number of cultural pieces about the US: an assessment of the Occupy movement and its future, and an article about American nuns and their ongoing fissures with the Vatican. I had a huge amount of fun speaking to Mormon and former Mormons for a piece about feminism and the role of women in that religion, which was published in the Guardian in March.

I produced a number of stories about the Irish community in New York. I covered St. Patrick’s Day – not just the parade itself but also the conflicted sense of history and tradition that encircles the parade committee. Earlier, at Christmas, I followed  how the young folk fared who could not afford to fly from home for Christmas, and then (in contrast) the experience of  a very nice young Irish guy who won the lottery in New York.

I reported on the success of Once in New York’s theaters, first at the New York Theater Workshop in the East Village, and then much more ambitiously (and very successfully), on Broadway. I also attended a showing of the brilliant Misterman by Enda Walsh.

I had the ambivalent pleasure of reviewing Christopher Hitchens’ posthumously published set of essays, aptly titled Mortality, in September. In August, it was the anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death in and I critiqued the biography of her by feminist academic Lois Banner. I also  reviewed a biography of Coco Chanel, the excellent Blue Nights by Joan Didion, Colm Toibin’s book of essays about creativity and family dynamics, and the last book Christopher Hitchens published while still alive. In fiction, I wrote about Lionel Shriver’s problematic novel, The New Republic, and John Lanchester’s (much better) book, Capital.

Image courtesy of OUP

My own book came out! It’s a collection of essays edited with my friend Katerina Oikonopoulou about the philosopher Plutarch, who doled out advice to friends at dinner-parties: when to have sex, how much alcohol to imbibe and the perennial little question, how to live.

*****

I started blogging for Forbes Woman about politics, power and gender.

Reported on a convergence of Irish talent in Le Poisson Rouge for the Irish Times. It was the first time I’d heard Damien Rice live — and he was brilliant.

Previewed an exhibition about two flamboyant 20th century artists, Marguerite and William Zorach, for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Profiled the high-powered journalist and Trinity College alumna Margaret Doyle for Trinity Today magazine (link not yet available).

Investigated the nascent single motherhood by choice movement in Ireland (link not yet available).

Reviewed an 800-page collection of essays by the inimitable Christopher Hitchens.

Covered the Magdalene Laundry survivors’ search for justice in the Huffington Post.

Wrote about Ugly Beauty: the intriguing history of L’Oreal.

Reviewed an excellent non-fiction account of the Bosnian conflict for the Sunday Independent.

Covered an event for aging artists in New York, and met a charismatic 93-year-old lady who became part of the piece.

Chatted with the brilliant Alex Cox, director of Sid & Nancy and many other excellent films.

Interviewed a Buddhist-influenced performance artist who is striving to convey the complexity of water through movement.

Spoke with American nuns about the state of the sisterhood, and the challenges nuns are facing.

Profiled the wonderful Robert Lawson, a theater professor at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, for the Chronicle Review.

Interviewed Emily Bell, head of the Tow Center of Digital Journalism at Columbia University and former director of digital content at the Guardian, for Prospect magazine.

Reviewed: Arthur Miller’s bio. (vol 2).

Got to talk to Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Roy Foster and others.

Wrote a blog post about Greek tragedy in London.

Recent publications

Wrote “Two men and a baby,” a feature about a gay couple who are having a child through surrogacy, published in the Sunday Independent.

Blogged about Vassar College’s Modfest musical festival, and the opera that was its centrepiece, for the Chronicle of Education‘s Arts blog (Vassar is in the oddly-named town of Poughkeepsie; the assignment gave me a nice opportunity to get out of New York, and I took these photos on the way up there).

Investigated an Irish Association in New York that refuses to let women become members (see right).

This page is a work in progress but you can find a full list of my articles under Journalism at www.friedaklotz.com.

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