“Maybe I’m just like my father,” Prince sang the year I turned thirteen. “Too demanding,” “too bold.” At stoplights, in malls, on rides at the county f…
Maud Newton
Several years ago, my agent mentioned that she was working with a writer whose work I would love: Sarah Smarsh (photo by Paul Andrews). After we hung u…
Maud Newton
Today is the writer Alexander Chee’s birthday. Some years ago, he showed me his family’s jokbo—gorgeous bound genealogical books. The dandy with the fl…
Maud Newton
"I will that all my land, stock, and property of every description except my negroes be sold."
Maud Newton
“I am haunted,” the philosopher Bertrand Russell once wrote, by “fear of the family ghost, which seems to seize on me with clammy invisible hands to av…
Maud Newton
Book Recommendations, a Bible Story, and More
Maud Newton
In her memoir Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging, the journalist Alex Wagner condemns the unreliability of ancest…
Maud Newton
“I am the family face,” Thomas Hardy wrote. “Flesh perishes, I live on.” These lines come from his poem “Heredity,” a melancholy and wondering meditati…
Maud Newton
In Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, the dead appear in corners, in hallways, solid in body rather than ghostly holograms. Here stands…
Maud Newton
I deliver the second draft of my book in early June, and I’m still deciding exactly what I’d like this newsletter to be, so I wasn’t sure when I’d star…
Maud Newton
If you’ve been reading my work for a while, you may know that my mom started a church in my living room when I was a kid. It was a tongues-speaking, Ra…
Maud Newton