Book Article

OPENING ACTS

''It is not all that interesting to watch a child sleep, although people do it all the time. Parents do, and perhaps also Mr. Auden, at least once. I am not, however, this child's mother. I am this child's mother's murderess.'' -- From the first chapter of Michael Gruber's thriller TROPIC OF NIGHT (Morrow, $24.95)

''Mother detests joggers. When they first arrived in the neighborhood with their 4x4s and custom-built 'billion-dollar tract houses,' Mom would follow alongside them in her car, beeping the horn and yelling: 'What are you? Nuts? You're going to die of a heart attack, mister. Go home.' Joggers were put in the same loathsome category as everything else that signified change: chevre, arugula, color television, even landing on the moon.'' -- From the first pages of Brenda Cullerton's family memoir, THE NEARLY DEPARTED (Little, Brown, $23.95)

Originally posted May 02, 2003 Published in issue #708 May 02, 2003 Order article reprints
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