Are All the Moms Microdosing Without Me?

One of my earliest memories is sitting on my mother’s lap—it must have been around 1973—waving plumes of her True cigarette smoke out of my face. She was just over 40, a former career gal turned stay-at-home mom to my brother and me, with a whiskey and soda in her hand by 5 p.m. every day.

It’s been almost 50 years, I’ve got two kids of my own, and it is five o’clock somewhere—or so I tell myself as I pour a glass of wine and survey my domestic hellscape of laundry, deadlines, homework, and gen

Perspective | Is my child addicted to Roblox?

Our collective Year of Living Intimately has finally entered a new phase — Vaccines! Unmasking! — just in time for summer vacation and, wait for it, even more unsupervised, unscheduled hours for my children to roam about the house. I already know my husband and kids better than I ever imagined, though I still cannot understand how a well-educated 12-year-old can think Thomas Jefferson invented the lightbulb, or why an advanced society would force its elders to duke it out online for vaccine appo

The Ladies’ Cabin

So admonishes Lillias Campbell Davidson in her 1889 tome, Hints to Lady Travelers. Her advice, which encompassed all aspects of lady-travel, was above all practical: a traveler ought to have a nicely furnished apartment and a hot fire waiting for her upon arrival, guard her morals and her chastity, and never bring a maid along unless she can afford to have the servant travel with her in first class.

There is nothing surprising about Davidson’s tips for seagoing females, at least those of the we

Widow’s Walk

They are unmistakable, ubiquitous fixtures of northeastern seaboard architecture, integral to the Nantucket skyline. The widow’s walks are small platforms, odd architectural appendages which protrude from the roof, bounded by a railing, allowing for clear views of the surrounding buildings, streets, and sometimes the horizon. The glum name comes from the iconic whaling wife of the nineteenth century who spent countless hours of her life perched upon it, gazing toward said horizon, awaiting the f

My daughter’s sleep issues have resurfaced with the pandemic, and I’m losing my mellow mojo

Watching her chest rise and fall, I think of all the other parents sitting in half-lit rooms across the globe. There is a reason, after all, that the “children’s book for adults,” “Go The F**k To Sleep,” sold more than 3 million copies in 40 languages; experts have estimated that as many as 50 percent of kids have trouble going to sleep at some point in their development. How many of us feel trapped by our children’s bedside, night after night, forced to choose between a miserable, frightened, t

Divide, Conquer: On Girls and Math

“I don’t get this!” she regularly moans after school, hunched over her math book. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to DO!” Her emotional radar quivers at code-red by the time she’s been at her desk for two minutes.

Equations spool across her page. They don’t make sense to me, either. My heart begins to patter. My brain refuses to sort the information in front of me. I get that sick, scared feeling I remember all too well: I am sitting in geometry class. The teacher drones away at us, incomprehen

Finding Community at a Queens Bodega

Presenting the tenth installment of The Bodega Project, where authors from across New York reflect on their communities through that most relied-on and overlooked institution, the bodega. Read the introduction to the series here.

The walk to Tony’s, down Xenia Street in Corona, Queens, isn’t about the Pepsi or Doritos I say I need, or the milk or American cheese my mother sometimes sends me out for. The dim interior with its two crowded aisles, neon chip bags, array of snack cakes and obligator

To Be Communicated in Every Home

One day during the last school year, as the first leaves fell, my first grader’s school folder came home with a letter to parents. It’s a blue folder like every other first grader’s, with a fat white C.H.E.F. (Communication Home to Every Family!) label affixed to it. The first graders are “cookies” this year. Last year they were “bees,” of the “busy” variety, as if there is any other kind.

Dear Parents, it began. We wanted to make you aware that on Wednesday, just as we practice fire drills, te

In Conversation with Novelist Amy Brill

We had the great pleasure of sitting down with Amy Brill, whose articles, essays, and short stories have appeared in The Washington Post, Salon, Guernica, One Story, and Real Simple, among others, and whose work as a producer (for PBS and MTV) earned her a George Foster Peabody Award. Amy has also been the recipient of a Pushcart nomination and fellowships in fiction by the Edward Albee Foundation, Jentel, the Millay Colony, Fundación Valparaíso, and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, as well

A star storyteller tells of Nantucket astronomer - The Boston Globe

To Mitchell’s amazement, she discovered a comet that night that no astronomer, amateur or professional, had seen before.

On Oct. 1, 1847, Mitchell stood on a perch much like this — hers was atop the Pacific National Bank building, on nearby Main Street — and peered through a telescope at the night sky. The 25-year old Mitchell yearned to make a name for herself as an astronomer, a field in which she’d been tutored by her father, a bank executive and devout stargazer.

NANTUCKET — For the first


A young woman has her eyes opened to her community’s limitations—and her own—in television writer/producer Brill’s strong debut.

In the small, tightly controlled Quaker settlement on Nantucket in 1845, 24-year-old Hannah Price’s principal duties are to behave and dress with sober decorum and to find a husband. Though her father has encouraged her passion for astronomy since she was a girl, he’s lost interest in celestial observations since her beloved twin brother, Edward, shipped out on a whal

The Movement of Stars

Read three sentences of Amy Brill's gorgeous The Movement of Stars and you're swiftly transported to the lantern-lit past of 1840s Quaker Nantucket. Twenty-four-year-old Hannah Price is a woman on a mission—ostensibly to discover a comet ("wanderers," as they are known in her world) but also to find a place for herself as a respected contributor in the field of astronomy. Then she meets Isaac Martin, a black whaler from the distant Azores islands, who wants to learn navigation from her, only to

Amy Brill: The TNB Self-Interview

Your first novel is about the relationship between an aspiring female astronomer on Quaker Nantucket in the 1840s and an ambitious black Azorean whaler she’s tutoring in celestial navigation. That must have been a breeze!

I’m just wondering if you are from Nantucket, or an amateur astronomer or something?

No. I knew nothing about any of it. That’s partly why it took me most of my adult life to research and write.

What was the other part?

The one that says, “Keep going until you have a beginn

The Movement of Stars Review

The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill is out on 9th May 2013

1845, Nantucket, and Hannah dreams of a world bigger than the Quaker community in which she has grown up. An amateur astronomer, she secretly hopes to discover a comet. If you discover a comet, you can win a gold medal awarded by the King of Denmark. This does not happen to women. Women are meant to look after their husband and children. The way of life she has always known is like its own galaxy and she cannot imagine ever getting away

Interview with Amy Brill, Author of The Movement of Stars

Jaime Boler: Thank you so much, Amy, for letting me ask you these questions. The Movement of Stars is such a gorgeous novel, and I know readers of all ages will embrace your protagonist, Hannah Gardner Price. You are a writer and producer and you previously worked for PBS and MTV. Did you always want to be a writer?

Amy Brill: I did. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I was a voracious reader from a very early age. For my 5th grade book-and-author luncheon I was Louisa Ma

Amy Brill

Amy Brill is a writer and producer and has just published her first novel, The Movement of Stars. Her articles, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous publications including One Story, The Common, Redbook, Real Simple, Salon, Guernica, and Time Out New York. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been awarded fellowships in fiction by the Edward Albee Foundation, Jentel, the Millay Colony, Fundacion Valparaiso, and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation. As a broadcast j

Amy Brill | The Common

Amy Brill’s articles, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in One Story, Redbook, Real Simple, Salon, Guernica, and Time Out New York, among many others. Her debut novel The Movement of the Stars was published by Riverhead Books in April. This month she chatted with S. Tremaine Nelson about the island of Nantucket, historical fiction, and the first American female astronomer, Maria Mitchell, who shares characteristics with Hannah Price, the heroine of Brill’s novel.

S. Tre

Spring Arts Guide Picks: Books

Loosely basing her novel on the life of America’s first female professional astronomer, Maria Mitchell, Brill takes that potentially alfalfa-dry source material (19th-century New England scientist and possibly lesbian spinster seeks comet) and spins a luxurious romance about stargazing and star-crossing. Hannah Gardner Price, the heroine, driven to succeed in her field and steadfast in her right to do so, eventually becomes embroiled in an interracial romance with Isaac, an Azorean whaler she takes on as a student. Though the setting and subject may brand this a historical novel, the conflicts ring sharply contemporary—career vs. family, racial tension vs. love. I hope to see steampunks on the L train wetting its pages with their artisanal tears.

The Movement of Stars

At the age of 24, Hannah Gardner Price is not conforming to the expectations of her Nantucket community. Women in 1845, especially Quakers, are raised to one purpose – to be good wives and mothers. Hannah aspires to be neither. She has been trained in astronomy by her father, and her heart’s desire is to discover an unknown comet. Perhaps Hannah will find a man who matches her in interests, but until then she is content to live at her widowed father’s home and study stars in the velvety dark Nan