View Edward Guthmann's profile

Don’t Cry for Me, West Covina by
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(19 Stories)

Prompted By My Hometown

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January 1, 1955. My father is watching the Rose Bowl on television. It’s freezing in Chicago that day, but bright and glorious in Pasadena where Ohio State trounces USC. Everyone looks happy, healthy. “Wouldn’t it be nice to raise these boys in California, where the sun shines all year long?” my dad asks my mother.…
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The Hope Sisters by
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(19 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

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The more I got to know my aunts the more I appreciated the ways they’d survived a childhood that, for all its adventure and exoticism, was marked by long separations and displacement.
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The Year I Played in “Oliver!”: A Stage Debut by
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(19 Stories)

Prompted By Dreams

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With a beginner’s naïveté, I wrote a letter to the producer Danny Dare and told him why he should cast me: “Dear Mr. Dare, I live in West Covina and I’m a talented actor. I can do an excellent English accent and I can sing. You should cast me in Oliver!”
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Libraries and Me: A Lifetime Love Affair by
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(19 Stories)

Prompted By Libraries

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My relationship with libraries is deep and affectionate, and I feel a strong sense of offended justice when I see library books that people have defaced or underlined or otherwise mistreated. What’s even worse is people who check out books and never return them.
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My Aunt Rollie: Loving, Uncompromising and Part Prussian General by
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(19 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

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She isn’t happy when her brothers marry non-Jewish women, and predictably takes a dim view of her son Donald’s tall, blonde girlfriend Sallie. One afternoon Sallie serves meat loaf, mashed potatoes and a simple green salad. Rollie is polite during the meal, but when Donald and Sally leave the room she asks me, "So what’d you think of that?” “Oh, it was fine,” I answer. "I call that Shiksa food,” she says.
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The Remarkable, Audacious Miss Jackson by
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(19 Stories)

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Mame’s language ranges from bawdy to downright filthy to an ornate elegance that can entertain or intimidate. She adores words, and language has a cascading musical quality coming from her. A boring lecture doesn’t cause her to lose interest but rather “assassinates my enthusiasm.” And instead of saying “I’m full” following a heavy meal, Mame announces, “I’ve been gourmandizing myself for an hour and I’m fully saturated.”
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Becoming a Journalist — Lightning Rod or Seismograph? by
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(19 Stories)

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I wanted to capture the roaring, rude dynamism of the late ‘60s and early '70s, a world in flux – not as it appeared from a distance to a disinterested newsman, but as someone immersed in the zeitgeist.
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Women Authors – An Enduring Passion by
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(19 Stories)

Prompted By Women We Admire

/ Stories

I like male writers, too. Dostoyevsky’s 'Crime and Punishment' and Melville’s 'Moby-Dick' are huge favorites, and John Steinbeck's 'The Grapes of Wrath' is a thing of remarkable beauty. But overall, it’s the psychological depth of women authors -- their fascination with our inner lives -- that I find illuminating and essential.
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I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now by
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(19 Stories)

Prompted By My First Apartment

/ Stories

Terry comes charging through the front door spewing tears and rage. “Janet just broke up with me!” he howls. And with one long wave of his arm, he sweeps dozens of beer and wine bottles off the kitchen counter and sends them crashing to the floor. The party grinds to a cheap, ugly close.
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That’s No Midget, That’s My Grandmother by
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(19 Stories)

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Every year, Grandma spends the winter with us in California – in order to avoid the frigid Chicago winters and the risk of falling on ice. Even when I’m 5 or 6, she seems ancient to me.
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