April 16, 2012 |
LIUYI, China — Bathed in a faint afternoon sunlight that seems to highlight every wrinkle on her face and hands, Fu Huiying hobbles around her dusty home. Nearby, chopped vegetables suggest a dinner half-made, and the smoke of years of cooking has stained the wall behind a small gas stove. But the eyes are drawn to Fu's deformed feet and the tiny, ornate shoes on the floor next to her, both objects marking the 76-year-old as one of the last of a kind. For almost a millennium, the practice of foot binding was prevalent across Chinese society, starting with the wealthier classes but over the years spreading down through urban and then poorer rural communities.
April 1, 2012 |
One bright, rainy September, my mother and I walked from Edinburgh to Dundee. Every day we trekked about six to 11 miles, along a skull-gray coast, on ancient tracks and lanes recently united under the banner of the Fife Coastal Path. A work in progress, the path sometimes petered out into a cow field or a tumble-down castle on a bluff above the North Sea. Though my mother was approaching 70 and I was close to 50, our relationship is a work in progress, full of twists and hairpin turns.
May 22, 2011 |
The elderly Italian woman will know more. Her name is Maria, or Um Dani, the mother of Daniel. She lives beyond the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, past the Gurgi Mosque, the one with the blue and gold tiles around the marble doorway. Then down an unpaved path, over by the 17th century Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where she is a parishioner, somewhere in that jumble of alleyways. She has lived there forever. The kids playing ball in the street will know exactly where. Her friend died 10, 15 years ago. And so she's perhaps the only Italian left from that era, from before Moammar Kadafi and his men took power four decades ago and hurried the Europeans out of the country, seizing their homes and property.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2011 |
Sada Thompson, a Tony Award-winning actress best known to TV viewers for her Emmy Award-winning role as the matriarch in the 1970s dramatic TV series "Family," has died. She was 83. Thompson, a resident of Southbury, Conn., died of lung disease Wednesday at Danbury Hospital, said her son-in-law, Tony Sgueglia. Once described by New York Times theater critic Walter Kerr as "one of the American theater's finest actresses," Thompson won a Tony for best actress in a play in 1972 for George Furth's comedy "Twigs," in which she played four different roles — a mother and her three daughters — in four linked sketches.
March 21, 2010 |
Patrick Nyaleta was a cow herder by the time he was 6. Like many rural Kenyans, his father measured his wealth in cattle and needed his children to tend them. One day, Patrick threw a rock at a wayward cow, killing it — the Kenyan equivalent of wrecking your father's roadster. His father beat the 8-year-old boy, yelling, "You will never again touch my cows!" Patrick was packed off to school in disgrace. "I was a skinny boy with no shoes, and I couldn't read or write," says Patrick, who now speaks German, Italian, English, Kiswahili and several tribal languages.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2009 |
From the house we built With blood and soil To the road on which The moonlight procession Flies forth on their boat Of shooting stars It is a pity you did not wish To stay here with us The poet had crafted those words so long ago. Flush from the victory of a People's Revolution in Iran that ousted a repressive monarch for a bearded cleric who spouted promises of freedom and quality, Partow Nooriala all too soon came to believe that the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had deceived them.