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In Memoriam: Natasha Richardson

March 21, 2009

With the tragic death of Natasha Richardson earlier in the week, the world has lost a tremendously talented artist, an actress whose versatility allowed her to charm audiences, wow critics, and entertain viewers whether performing for the silver screen or on the stage. Although her career stretched for a remarkable 41 years, her death at a mere 45 was far too soon, by any measure.

Yet despite the loss to the theater and film industry, even more significant than this professional tragedy is the personal loss suffered by a family: the husband, sons, sister, mother and other loved ones who are left to mourn the healthy, vivacious woman there was no reason to think would soon leave them. And yes, in this case the husband happens to be Liam Neeson, an actor whose craggy profile and distinctive voice are unmistakable, while the mother is Vanessa Redgrave, an actress whose fame likely surpassed her daughter’s. But today, the famous members of this family are not, primarily, famous; they are simply grieving along with the thousands of other families who have lost loved ones to traumatic brain injury, or TBI.


RIP Tayeb Salih

February 25, 2009

The death of the great Sudanese novelist went largely without comment in this country.

Remembering Updike

February 3, 2009

Back in the 1980s, my parents bought their first home, in Georgetown, Massachusetts, from a writer named John Updike.