Jun. 8, 1998

The Master Speed

by Robert Frost


Today's Reading: "The Master Speed" by Robert Frost from THE POETRY OF ROBERT FROST, published by Henry Holt.

It's the birthday of SARA PARETSKY, creator of the V.I. Warshawski Series, born in Ames, Iowa, 1947. She grew up in the eastern Kansas town of Lawrence, got a doctorate in history from the University of Chicago and went into marketing. But she didn't care much for business. She'd always been a big fan of mysteries, reading two or three of them a week, and in 1982 she came out with one of her own, Indemnity Only, with fiction's first feminist private investigator, Victoria Iphigenia Warshawski. She's got nine books in the Warshawski series now, but just a few days ago came out with a novel that breaks the series, Ghost Country, about a pair of sisters, Harriet and Mara Stonds, growing up with their grandfather.

It's DR. ANDREW WEIL's birthday, born in Philadelphia, 1942, author of Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, which came out last year, and Spontaneous Healing, published in 1995. One of his first published works was in the early 1960s, a scholarly paper, "The Use of Nutmeg as a Psychotropic Agent." Now a general practitioner and researcher, he's on the University of Arizona-Tuscon medical faculty and specializes in the healing properties of plants.

JOHN CAMPBELL, the science fiction writer, was born in Newark, New Jersey on this day in 1910. Back in the late 1930s he took over a little adventure-pulp magazine called "Astounding Stories," and started publishing writers like Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein. He changed its name to "Analog" and it became the leading science fiction magazine. Campbell's own stories were often dead-on in predicting advances in science, like his 1930 When the Atoms Failed, the first depiction of computers; or during WWII when his stories about atomic energy were so accurate that the FBI put him under investigation.

It's the birthday in Minneapolis, 1903, of the sociologist and feminist writer JESSIE BERNARD, author of The Sex Game, Women and the Public Interest, and The Future of Motherhood, books that in the 1960s and 70s laid the scholarly foundations for the feminist movement. She was also a long-time teacher at the University of Pennsylvania.

It's FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT's birthday, in Richland Center, Wisconsin, 1867. He studied engineering at the University of Wisconsin, then moved to Chicago to work as a draftsman, designing in his spare time a few houses for some of his boss's clients. He called them his "bootlegged houses." They didn't look like anyone else's: low, sweeping rooflines hanging over uninterrupted walls of windows; massive brick or stone fireplaces at the heart of the house; all the rooms open to one another.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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