I met my first boyfriend when we were 13, playing 'Dungeons and Dragons' in the basement of my local comics shop. We were from the same small town in Maine but went to different schools.
My literary heroes were mostly women writers and thinkers - Joy Williams, Joan Didion, Anne Sexton, June Jordan, Sarah Schulman, Audre Lorde, Cherrie Moraga, Christa Wolf - and much of this writing was political as well as literary.
By the 1880s, English translations of both the French and the Russian editions were available, and Americans began to read 'War and Peace.'
I loved being a soprano. It was one of my very favorite things in life, and thus far, and losing that voice was a profound emotional moment for me in my life. I never became that interested in my adult male singing voice.
I had been in a professional boys' choir, and as a boy soprano, you're aware that your voice has an expiration date.
The year was 1882. The palace was the Luxembourg Palace: the ball, the Senat Bal, held at the beginning of autumn. It was still warm, and so the garden was used as well. I was the soprano. I was Lilliet Berne.