In the Eye of the Storm a Year Later

By Gary Smith Life September 1990 “There are significant moments in the life of a human,” a significant man in Charleston, S.C., once told me. “Moments in our lives when we need to act right. It’s crucial that we recognize them when they come, that we gather the...

The Father, The Director, and the Holy Terror

By Brad Darrach Life September 1990 Fifty-three. For the average successful American male, it’s definitely not the prime of life. Your body has launched a paunch, your children are taller than you are, you’re dabbling furtively in your wile’s wrinkle cream and...

A Place to Heal

By Marilyn Johnson Life June, 1995 Justin Simpson is six years old and playing with a long plastic bat when two strangers pull up to the curb in front of his grandparents’ house. He scowls. Who are these guys? It’s the photographer and his assistant. They get out of...

In the Bloom of Life

By Marilyn Johnson Life April, 1995 If you take her out of history and plant her in the wilderness, it’s easy to see the person she is. During a dry spell in 1984, she was driving around the Texas hill country with a friend, hunting for fields of wildflowers in bloom....

A Comedian of Guilt

By Albert Goldman Life Feb. 7, 1969 The publication of a book is not often a major event in American culture. Most of our classics, when they first appeared, met with disappointing receptions, and even the much-ballyhoed best-sellers of recent years have rarely cut a...

Boy, 8

By Marilyn Johnson Life June 1, 1992 I didn’t want to be part of anything when I was a teenager, especially my family. There were seven of us, and they pressed in on me. So I buried my head in books. My reading irritated my parents; books were a narcotic I used right...

The Last Angry Woman

By Tom Junod Life April 1991 “Are you safe?” is what she always asks the children. It is what she asks the exhausted little boy who has just driven nonstop with his mother from New Hampshire to Atlanta in a rattling VW bus; what she asks the hotel-bound boy whose last...

Oh, You Beautiful Doll

By Jennifer Allen Life December 1981   At rush hour on this dusky autumn afternoon taxis and buses clog the streets of lower Manhattan; the sidewalks are jammed with weary workers heading home. But it’s business as usual here in the executive offices of LJN Toys....

Dumb Broad at a Dumb Fight

By Shana Alexander Life June 4, 1965 Although until last week I had never personally attended a prize fight, I knew what I expected to see. The boxers’ glistening, circling bodies and the hoarse roar of the crowd had become familiar to me through years of exposure to...

A Miracle of Faith

By Tom Junod Life July 1991 She would board the plane in Albuquerque, although she knew that doing so could kill her. She would fly to New York and then to Belgrade and Sarajevo, where she would get on a bus. Thirty-five hours it was supposed to take Carol Lynn Leland...

Norman

By Brock Brower Life September 24, 1965 At this point in his literary career, Norman Mailer really ought—at least as a source of metaphor—to Quit the Ring. He has, as they say, heart, a lot of heart, but even if he’s right—that Papa Hemingway threw him and his entire...

Joe Biden in the Crunch

By Gary Smith Life October 1987 The guide cupped his eyes against the sunlight and watched the man pick his way up the cliff. Where to? he wondered. Why? Their raft had ridden out the rapids and reached a place where the river rested. There the group of vacationing...