young adult fiction

Read “Beloved,” my short story published in

The story is an attempt to capture the pain of incongruity—of something being out of place. I wanted the details—the wedding in the Laundromat, Mayor Bloomberg officiating—to move from ridiculous to joyful, pointing to Maria’s alienation not only from the culture she grew up in but from the dream of having a child and being … Read more

You Have to Be Carefully Taught

When I was a kid in the Bronx in the ’60s, racism was as American as apple pie, at least in my family. They were second-generation Irish, struggling to make ends meet, and they didn’t lose sleep over who got shut out of a job or a neighborhood. How could we look down on Negroes? … Read more

It’s 1963. They’re marching in Washington—Even people from the Bronx

—including Fiona’s friend David and his mother! [From Morning in a Different Place, Bronx 1963, Fiona learns that her friend David Silverman went to the March on Washington with his mom and Mrs. Carson, Yolanda’s neighbor.] “Mrs. Carson is your friend?” says Yolanda [to Mrs. Silverman]. “Well, an acquaintance really. But we’ve gotten to be … Read more

Fiona is white. Yolanda is black. Their friendship breaks the rules.

And if Fiona wants to be accepted by her newfound friends, she’ll have to end it. She knows what she should do, but heroics don’t come easy to an outcast. Her courage gets lost—until Yolanda helps her find it. [From Morning in a Different Place, Bronx, NY, 1963] President Kennedy is on TV, giving a … Read more