About the Author

Vital stats: I was born in New York City, grew up in Pleasantville, New York and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa sum laude from Brown University in 1960. On a Woodrow Wilson fellowship I attended Stanford University and got the PhD in 1968. Taught at Brown, Trinity College, Wesleyan, University of Hartford and the New School for Social Research. Met Susan Weegar in 1977 and we married in '85. Son Ben born in 1987. Lived in California from 1960-68, Providence from '68-'75, Hartford from '75 to '92. Built a house in Wellfleet, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in '83, and moved here fulltime in '92. In 1994, with two other couples, bought a house on Vieques, an island off the east coast of Puerto Rico, where we spend several weeks a year.

Thumbnail sketch of my writing life: During my teaching years I published The Novel and Human Problems and a number of articles on literature and the profession, including the anthologized "The Value and Limitation of Faulkner's Fictional Method" and "Beyond Student-centered teaching." I was also a founding member of Radical Teacher magazine for which I wrote a number of pieces. During the 1980s I slowly transformed myself from an academic, expertise-based writer to a freelancer and writer of op-ed newspaper columns about a wide range of subjects.

In 1994 I started writing a regular op-ed column for the Cape Cod Times, an association that continues still, close to 400 columns later. I also for a number of years wrote a column for the Provincetown Banner.

In '96 I published Bodywork, a book of drawings and essays, and in 2003 Wellfleet and the World, which is still selling in local stores. In '96 I began making notes for a book on the experience of owning land purchased with nine friends in the California mountains in 1968. This went through many changes in concept, form and content, finally appearing in 2006 as Owning the Sierra Nevada: The Short History of a Long Infatuation. I have since age 19 been a compulsive keeper of a journal.