Mary Daniels Brown

My mother always insisted that, as soon as I was old enough to sit up, she’d find me in my crib after my nap babbling away, with a Little Golden Book on my lap. I’ve had my nose in a book ever since. I grew up in a small town, with the tiny town library literally in my backyard. As an only child in an unhappy home, I found comfort and companionship in books. As an adult I wanted to be Harry Potter, although I admit I’m more Hermione. My life has been a series of research projects. Reading has taught me that human lives are deliciously messy and that “it’s complicated” isn’t a punchline.

Collage of book covers: Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck; A Time to Kill by John Grisham; Killing Time by Caleb Carr; Stories are Weapons by Annalee Newitz; Tell Me a Story by Daniel Taylor; The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid; Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

6 Degrees of Separation: On Time and Storytelling

This month we start with the 2024 winner of the International Booker Prize, Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck (translated by Michael Hofmann). Jenny Erpenbeck has created an unforgettably compelling masterpiece with Kairos. The story of a romance begun in East Berlin at the end of the 1980s: the passionate yet difficult long-running affair of Katharina and

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