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Sy Safransky's Notebook

April 2005

I told a friend I was still feeling aggrieved about last November’s election. He suggested I take a more philosophical view. The ancient Chinese, he said, used to consider themselves fortunate if a great emperor came along once every five hundred years.

By Sy Safransky April 2005
Sy Safransky's Notebook

April 2004

How odd that I still distance myself from my feelings, as if sadness itself were my enemy, a smooth-talking terrorist with one foot in the door.

By Sy Safransky April 2004
Sy Safransky's Notebook

January 2004

Time throws his arm around my shoulder, congratulates me for thirty years of hard work, and hands me a cigar: the exploding kind, I see. I thank him and slip it into my pocket. For later, I say. When my work is done.

By Sy Safransky January 2004


Boarding school is like purgatory, or prison — being sent away to wait. That’s mainly what I do: wait for time to pass. There are five more hours to supper, and I’m hungry already. I’m up here in an empty classroom, writing in my diary when I’m supposed to be studying, ’cause it’s one week till finals. Three more long weeks, then home, home at last.

By Doreen Baingana March 2003
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Exegesis Of Eating

And thou shalt treat the food that touches thy lips with reverence, in recognition of the labors and traditions of thine ancestors, and in communion and fellowship with those to whom thou art tied with bonds of blood and love.

By Alane Salierno Mason June 2002
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

No Matter What We Eat

The sheet of instructions from the endoscopy center says to drink clear liquids only. They give grape juice as an example. I can’t quite understand how something purple could be clear, but it gives me hope. If grape juice is clear, can melted chocolate be bouillon?

By Geneen Roth January 2002
The Sun Interview

What We’re Really Hungry For

An Interview With Geneen Roth On Mindful Eating

Many people, however, want to lose weight simply because they believe it will make them happy and stop their pain. So it’s not so much the weight they want to lose, but the pain. They are the main audience for my work.

By Renee Lertzman January 2002


I can reason down or deny everything, except this perpetual Belly; feed he must and will, and I cannot make him respectable.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

January 2002


The toughest part of being on a diet is shutting up about it.

Gerland Nachman

October 2000
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Mean Cuisine

According to surveys, about half of American households have at least one person on a diet at any given time. Dieting is normal — more normal than eating what you want to eat. How many of us now live on various versions of Lean Cuisine during the workweek and pay premium for a plate of swordfish and greens on Saturday night?

By Sallie Tisdale October 2000