The Personal Statement

My latest piece is up at

It begins like this:

There was this question of how I come up with the “off-the-beaten path” subjects I write about. The editor wondered if I would read a “major figure.” He wondered, for example, what I would make of John Porcellino. He thought my treatment of my major illness would interest me in Porcellino’s treatment of his, like we had pulled matching decoder rings out of the cosmic Cracker Jack box, enabling special understanding of one another.