Deluxe Edition

May 2nd, 2023

I’m so pleased to have gotten to design a cover for the graphically gorgeous Penguin Classics Deluxe series. And for not just any book, but one of my very favorites of all time, Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse. (It played a part in my memoir Are You My Mother?)

The series has an iconoclastic look, very comics-inflected. So for the front cover I did a comic strip dramatizing the dinner party where Lily Briscoe recovers from Mr Tansley’s comment that women can’t paint by thinking about a compositional problem she’s having in her current painting.

The back cover is another comic strip, of Mr and Mrs Ramsay reading and knitting together, nothing much happening (on the surface) except for time passing.

I did this watercolor gradient that goes from light sky blue to deep underwater blue.

And then because it’s a Deluxe Edition there are also the jacket flaps. On the front one is Mrs. Ramsay and James from the first scene in the book. With clouds on the horizon to evoke the coming storm of the Great War.

And on the back flaps we can see Lily, in the last part of the book, recalling Mrs. Ramsay and trying to complete the painting of her that she started ten years earlier.

It was such an absorbing puzzle to figure out how to literally wrap up and give a shape to this remarkable book.


May 6th, 2021

While it’s lovely to get to talk to Terry Gross, and to have my book written about in The New Yorker, I have to say I am super excited to get a write-up on Outside magazine’s website. I’ve been reading Outside for years, since the olden times when it was a higher-brow version of Men’s Health, all bros skiing off cliffs. Now they actually have a lesbian columnist, Grace Perry, and I love what she says about The Secret to Superhuman Strength.

SSS on The New Yorker site

April 30th, 2021

The Semi-Sadistic Seven Minute Workout

The New Yorker has this excerpt from The Secret to Superhuman Strength up on Daily Shouts. I am entranced with the way it looks on my phone.

Also, there’s a hilarious prose piece by Roz Chast, with whom I will be launching my book Tuesday night at the (virtual) 92nd St. Y. She discusses the terms people use for those meals when they’re using up leftovers. In our house, it’s “pantry party.”

Virtual Book Tour!

April 26th, 2021

I’m doing a bunch of online events for my new book, The Secret to Superhuman Strength, starting next week. I hope you can come to one!

May 4, 7 pm 92nd Street Y with Roz Chast
Tickets here

May 5, 7:30 pm ET Philadelphia Free Library
Tickets here

May 6, 5 pm ET West x Midwest with Cheryl Strayed
Register here

May 7, 6 pm ET City Arts & Lectures with George McCalman
Tickets here

May 10, 7 pm ET Brookline Booksmith/Wilbur Theatre with Stacy Schiff
Tickets here

May 11, 7 pm ET Chicago Humanities Festival with Nicole Eisenman
Tickets here

May 12, 7 pm ET Left Bank Books with Dani Shapiro
Details here

May 13, 8 pm ET Librairie D+Q and The Beguiling (Canada)
Watch here

May 19, 5 pm ET Scripps College with Ann Friedman
Tickets here

A short disquisition on the cover of my book

April 21st, 2021

In which I explain a bit of the concept.

It’s always a strange experience to hold in my hands the freshly printed copy of a book I’ve been laboring over for years. The realization that I can no longer make any changes is a bit confounding. The finality of it! Another nail in the coffin. What’s done is done. And of course, now what?

Well, I won’t have time to worry about that just yet given the barrage of interviews and podcasts I’m doing to publicize the book. And soon I will post here the glamorous book tour events that I will be doing virtually from my basement.

I’m sorry to hawk the book one more time, but I must do what I can to get people to pre-order. If you are so inclined, here are some places where you can do it. The Strand has a lovely special page up for it and is selling signed copies. And you can also get it from your local independent bookstore via Indiebound. And of course all the other places.

Another secret

April 21st, 2021

Here’s another of my instructional videos. It is indeed snowing here in Vermont today on April 21st, but I made this a month ago.

  • April 21st, 2021
  • Comments Off on Another secret
  • Permalink: Another secret

Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians

April 12th, 2021

Okay, first of all, I am BESIDE MYSELF to see so many of the old gang back here! I’m really touched to hear from you all again, and delighted (but not surprised) that it took about ten minutes for the Maoist Orange Cake to crop up. And hard on its heels, the Trotskyist Key Lime Pie.

I just listened to a really great episode of the Slate podcast Working, in which June Thomas had a conversation with Joan E. Biren (JEB) about the recent reissue of JEB’s groundbreaking 1979 book.

JEB’s been doing a lot of events recently, including one with me a couple weeks ago for the bookstore Women and Children First. (Virtually, of course.) But I feel bad that I didn’t ask her better questions. June does a great journalistic job of getting to the heart of things, asking JEB what the process of taking the pictures and making the book was like. Definitely worth a listen. (And if you’re a Slate Plus member, there’s an added segment that’s worth the price of a Slate Plus membership–it involves counting penises.) Anyhow Eye to Eye was a hugely formative book for me as a young dyke, so it’s nice to see it back in print and getting some attention.

Go for a ride

April 10th, 2021

The Secret to Superhuman Strength #10, another in my series of instructional videos.

Many eons ago, before facebook wrecked everything, there was a lovely, lively little community of people who gathered here on this blog. I’m going to engage in a nostalgic experiment and turn the comments back on. They will be moderated, as before, by my friend Mentor. But they will eventually get posted as long as they’re not rude, or spam, or otherwise disruptive.

My New Book

April 9th, 2021

My new book, The Secret to Superhuman Strength, will launch on May 4. But you can pre-order it at any of these places. I’m sorry to be flogging it in this flagrant manner, but pre-orders are apparently very important in the book world these days.

Bunns and Noodle Barnes and Noble is offering signed copies here.

Here’s the Indiebound link. Indiebound, in case you don’t know, is a great way to order from your local independent bookstore.

If you want to buy from a women’s bookstore, here’s the link to it on Women and Children First’s site.



And here it is on Bookshop.org. This site gives some of the money back to independent bookstores!

And apparently you can also get it from Apple. In what I presume is a digital version. Hmmm. I haven’t seen this yet, so don’t know how legible it will be.

Soon I’ll announce my big Virtual Tour. I’m doing a bunch of events with some lovely interlocutors–all via Zoom from my basement, alas. But still.

Get wet.

March 30th, 2021

Another instructional video. The Secret to Superhuman Strength, # 33.