Creative Trauma

Tablet Magazine, October 2, 2018

For more than three millennia, the Yazidi people had lived clustered around the sacred Sinjar Mountains in Northern Iraq. It was there, in the small hours of the morning of Aug. 3, 2014, that Maia’s life as she had known it ended.

Book Review: The Father of Personal Computing Who Was Also a Terrible Dad

The New York Times, September 4, 2018

The myth of Steve Jobs: iconoclastic artistic genius, Nietzschean Übermensch, progenitor of the digital revolution who reshaped our domestic lives the same way that the titans of the Industrial Revolution reshaped cities and factories. But “Small Fry,” an entrancing memoir by his first child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, will force readers to grapple with whether Jobs was not merely unmenschlike but a monster. It is not a stretch to say that if you read this book, you will never think of Jobs the same way again.

The Anti-Helicopter Parent's Plea: Let Kids Play!

The New York Times Magazine, October 22, 2016

A Silicon Valley dad decided to test his theories about parenting by turning his yard into a playground where children can take physical risks without supervision. Not all of his neighbors were thrilled.

When Do You Give Up on Treating a Child With Cancer?

The New York Times Magazine, May 12, 2016

When Esther and Dan Levy’s son Andrew was 14 months old, he received a diagnosis of a kind of leukemia so rare that their medical team said getting it was like being bitten by a shark and struck by lightning at the same time.

The Allergy Buster

The New York Times Magazine, March 10, 2013

As Nadeau lectured, Kim became filled with conviction: This is the person who will cure my daughter. Afterward she approached Nadeau and asked what she could do for her 6-year-old, who was fatally allergic to most major food groups.

"I am not sure," Nadeau told her, "but I promise, we will figure it out."


NBC's The Today Show filmed a segment about the allergy treatment research, broadcast on Thursday, March 14th, 2013.

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ABC's Katie talk show with Katie Couric had a segment on the allergy research with Dr. Nadeau and Melanie on Thursday, March 14th, 2013.

information and video >

Meet the Twiblings

The New York Times Magazine, January 2, 2011

There was even something I liked about the idea of a family created by many hands, like one of those community quilt projects, pietra dura, or a mosaic whose beauty arises from broken shards. If it takes a village to raise a child, why not begin with conception?


Melanie, Melissa and Fie appeared on NBC's The Today Show on Tuesday, January 4.

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NPR's Talk of the Nation featured Melanie and Fie discussing third-party reproduction on Wednesday, January 5.

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The Lost Lexus

in The Secret Currency of Love , published January 2009 (at B&N;  at Amazon)

It was the eve of our first wedding anniversary, and I was still trying to understand my husband's financial philosophy and the extent to which it was a philosophy. I was hoping it was more a matter of habit because one thing was plain: it was different from mine. Michael was frugal.

Jason Shinder

The New York Times Magazine, December 28, 2008

Death is the ultimate subject for a poet. It's the ultimate subject for all of us, of course—the self impossibly contemplating its impossible absence—but for a poet whose work is to express the inexpressible, it is a particular opportunity.

My Pain, My Brain

The New York Times Magazine, May 14, 2006

Who hasn't wished she could watch her brain at work and make changes to it, the way a painter steps back from a painting, studies it and decides to make the sky a different hue?

The New Arranged Marriage

The New York Times Magazine, February 13, 2005

Janis Spindel is on her way from her office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to a nearby cafe to meet a gorgeous guy. ''Gorgeous,'' she tells me. ''Unreal. He's just my type -- 36, Jewish, Ivy League, successful. And gorgeous. Just gorgeous.''

Charlotte, Grace, Janet and Caroline Come Home

The New York Times Magazine, May 8, 2005

The rebels have ruined northern Uganda. No one wanted to look out the car window on the three-hour journey northwest from Lira to Gulu near the Sudanese border.

The Writing Cure

The New York Times Magazine, April 18, 2004

Chapter 1: A Healing Encounter, or How Medicine Lost Its Way and Tried to Restore a Sense of Story. There is nothing unusual about the case with which Rita Charon, a plenary speaker at a medical conference in Gainesville, Fla., began her lecture.

The Enchanting Little Princess (Profile of Natalie Portman)

The New York Times, November 7, 2004

In Mike Nichols's forthcoming movie, "Closer," Jude Law, playing a journalist, recounts to Natalie Portman how he first fell for her.

Shattered Sugar

Food & Wine, December 2004

Melanie Thernstrom tells how she was tempted to pilfer the best toffee recipe in the universe but found redemption in a different kind of sweet.

Untying the Knot

The New York Times Magazine, August 24, 2003

In most public accounts of divorce, there is no confusion as to why the couple is splitting up. The reasons are so sound -- the trails of manipulation, exploitation and betrayal so thick -- the only mystery is why the couple were together in the first place.

The Inheritance that Got Away

The New York Times Magazine, June 9, 2002

It was at my grandmother's memorial service that a friend of hers mentioned that my sculpture -- the one my grandmother had always promised to leave me -- was worth $4 million.

Pain, the Disease

The New York Times Magazine, December 16, 2001

A modern chronicler of hell might look to the lives of chronic-pain patients for inspiration. Theirs is a special suffering, a separate chamber, the dimensions of which materialize at the New England Medical Center pain clinic in downtown Boston.

My Best Friend's Wedding Cake

Food & Wine, June 2001

She wanted to make the cake for her best friend's wedding. And nothing (not even a plea from the bride) was going to stop her.

Silence of the Lam

The New York Times Magazine, December 3, 2000

Twenty years ago, Benjamin Holmes disappeared. Twelve years ago, his wife had him declared dead. Two months ago, he returned with a bang.

Becoming American 101

The New York Times Magazine, October 19, 1997

When Kyra Voss, a teacher at the Riverside Language School, walks into English-only class every day, she encounters a pained silence.

Spending Sickness

New York, July 15, 2002

Like many people, A.J. Pierce knows exactly what she earns, but has no idea what she spends—and she doesn't wish to know.

The Crucifixion of Matthew Shepard

Vanity Fair, March 1999

Tied to a wooden fence, tortured, and left to die, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard—a bright, sensitive freshman at the University of Wyoming—has become a national symbol of violance against gays.

Trouble in Paradise

George Magazine, September 1999

Even from this distance—six years later, in the emerald-white light of a patio overlooking Waikiki Beach—Ramdas Lamb insists he has no real understanding of the events that transformed his life.

The Craft

The New Yorker, October 18 & 25, 1999

They don't exactly look like a coven—Amelia Atwater-Rhodes and her three friends locking arms as they walk, their voice overlapping and merging into giggles.

Child's Play

New York, July 13, 1998

Two New Jersey High School sweethearts have a baby in secret and leave it in a Delaware dumpster.

Diary of a Murder

The New Yorker, June 3, 1996

A year after a young woman at Harvard killed her roommate and then took her own life, questions about why it happened, and whether it had to.