Terra Ziporyn

About Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and science writer whose numerous popular health and medical publications include The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health, Nameless Diseases, and Alternative Medicine for Dummies. Her novels include Do Not Go Gentle, The Bliss of Solitude, and Time’s Fool, which in 2008 was awarded first prize for historical fiction by the Maryland Writers Association. Terra has participated in both the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the Old Chatham Writers Conference and for many years was a member of Theatre Building Chicago’s Writers Workshop (New Tuners).  A former associate editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association  (JAMA), she has a PhD in the history of science and medicine from the University of Chicago and a BA in both history and biology from Yale University, where she also studied playwriting with Ted Tally. Her latest novel, Permanent Makeupis available in paperback and as a Kindle Select Book.

 

Articles contributed by this author
Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

06-04-17 READING ON THE ROAD

Once upon a time, I’d fill a backpack with thick tomes I had been waiting for months to devour. Paperback or hardcover, it didn’t matter. I was the kind of person who read War and Peace on the beach (and, actually, my organic chemistry text on a cliff near the Oracle at Delphi – but that’s another story). Now that I’m older and wiser, I’m not sure that’s the best way to take reading on the road.
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Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

05-04-17 BOOKS, TWEETS, AND POSTERITY

In a recent article about writer and photography critic Teju Cole, Norman Rush notes that Cole’s emergence as a social media superstar makes him a “kind of realm.” Beyond his fine reputation as the author of books and other print media, Cole is also an accomplished photographer and prolific “Tweeter” with a huge Facebook following.

Cole himself has observed that some of the finest “literary minds of our generation” express themselves by means other than traditional print media. Yet they often still write books. Presumably that’s because books are more serious than tweets. Books are also more likely to stick around long enough to reach posterity.

Is this valid? (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

04-04-17 IS TODAY A TIME FOR FICTION?

More and more people tell me that this is no time for fiction. Nor do they themselves have time for fiction.

Even lifetime novel lovers say they feel that today’s times call for information, not retreats into fantasyland. Serious readers say they find it hard to immerse themselves in fictional worlds.  One writer friend even admitted that she no longer has the attention span for books of any sort, including nonfiction, that don’t have immediate and obvious bearing on current events.

 


“Ever since the presidential election sticking my head in a novel feels like counting the angels on pins,” she told me. She says that now and then she does read an article in The New Yorker, but even that has to have immediate and obvious bearing on current events. And she’s a novelist herself!
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Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

03-04-17 ARE YOU STILL READING FICTION?

“I’m not reading fiction much anymore.” “I can’t read novels these days.” “More and more, I’m restricting my reading list to non-fiction.”


Few statements can rattle a novelist like these. And I’ve been hearing a lot of them lately. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

02-04-17 FINDING NOVELS

What led you to pick that novel you’re reading? A friend’s recommendation? A book review? A bookstore display? Did your book club make you do it?

Last month I put out an informal poll to find out if social media made a difference in the way people were finding novels. I discovered some intriguing new ways to find reading material—plus a few surprises. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

12-04-16 IS HISTORICAL FICTION HISTORICAL?

andersonville

Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor

chesapeake

Chesapeake by James A. Michener

Listening to James Michener’s Chesapeake on recent driving trips, I’m finding myself increasingly uncomfortable. He’s cheating, I think. These characters – they are so vivid. He didn’t have to make them up from whole cloth. Doesn’t that make his life as a novelist considerably easier? Or his creative achievements less impressive? (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

10-04-16 WHY JOIN A BOOK CLUB?

“You’re in a book club?” my friend asked incredulously. “Why would you join a book club?”Join a book club

I was a bit surprised to be asked this question by a friend who also happened to be a professor of comparative literature. We had known each other since college. We are both writers.  I had just told her that our next meeting would discuss Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, a book she greatly admired. So why was it so odd to her that I was in a book club?

“I can’t imagine being in a book club,” she said. “That’s what I do for a living.” (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

09-04-16  JUST ONE BOOK: TOP PICKSJust One Book

If you could own a physical copy of just one book, what would it be and why? I asked this question last month and got a wide-variety of answers. Not surprisingly, several people chose the Bible, a single book that served the vast majority of people since the dawn of book publishing and ownership just fine. Other top must-haves for the digital age included cookbooks and other guides, marked-up editions, collections, and a random assortment of personal favorites, including memoirs, social analyses, and fiction. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

08-04-16 IF YOU COULD OWN JUST ONE BOOKLibrary on Desert Island

The other day I left my computer in the middle of a writing project to look something up. I actually left my chair, pulled a book from grad school from my bookcase, scanned the index, and turned to a page that suddenly looked familiar, marked up with notes I had left like breadcrumbs. I hadn’t done anything like that in years.
(Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

07/04/16 – MORE WORDS TO WRITE BY

A while back I shared some favorite quotations about writing, literature, and art that I’ve kept posted in my office for decades. I’ve printed and laminated these snippets whenever I find them since high school, and keep them taped to my desk drawers and file cabinets alongside a few pithy cartoons and family photos. Here I’ll share a few more favorites that have inspired, delighted, and consoled me over the years.

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Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

The boardinhouse where Julia Wolfe brought her young son, Thomas, Asheville, NC

The boardinghouse where Julia Wolfe brought her young son, Thomas, Asheville, NC

6/4/16 – YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN: VISITING WRITERS’ HOMES

Touring Thomas Wolfe’s childhood home in Asheville, NC recently, I saw, like many others before me, how his childhood translated into his novels. I also saw how growing up here had in many ways been perfect soil for a budding writer.

A kid separated from his siblings to grow up in a boardinghouse, share bedrooms with guests, and help his enterprising mama serve up stews would have plenty of material to ponder, and time to ponder it. Having a maverick but grief-stricken mother and the temper and passion of his father on hand didn’t hurt either. I wondered whether I might find equally conductive conditions in the childhood homes of other writers. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

CUPIDITY Poster 413165/4/16 – WRITING ACROSS GENERATIONS

Nothing is quite so thrilling as seeing your writing come alive—except perhaps bringing it to life with the help of your own offspring. In my case, the thrill came from seeing a play I had abandoned decades ago reborn when my composer son offered to write music for it. By writing across generations, we created something far better than anything I could have imagined on my own. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

4-04-2016 – IF YOU LOVE BOOKS, DON’T READ THISSocial media icons

As a writer who spends endless hours alone glued to a computer, I’m well aware of the lure of Facebook, Twitter, and other digital distractions. And yet the more diatribes I read about social media addiction destroying civility and civilization, the more I am reminded of many age-old critiques of book-reading. So, at risk of incurring the wrath of book lovers everywhere, I have to ask: are books and social media all that different in their potential to distract us from our friends, family, and even ourselves? (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

3-04-2016 – WHERE GO THE BOOKS?

No one was more surprised than me—a self-confessed book hoarder—when I let stack upon stack of books go free from my home. It all started when my 20-something daughter, packing up her childhood room, confronted me with a hallway of books that had lost their shelving status. My chance for redemption had at last arrived.
IMG_0501 (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

2/04/2016 – WORLD’S FIRST NOVEL – AND THE WINNER IS…The Golden Ass, a Contender for World's First Novel

I just finished reading Sarah Ruden’s acclaimed translation of The Golden Ass, a 2nd  century AD, a  classic and wonderfully ridiculous work that has been called the world’s first novel. And then it dawned on me: just recently I had read (and blogged about) a couple of other first novels of sorts, The Tale of Genji and Don Quixote. I started wondering: just how many novels have claimed this title?  (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

1/04/16 – READING AND WRITING THROUGH THE YEARS

Flipping through The New York Review of Books the other day, I realized my reading habits had changed drastically. Once upon a time I read every page from cover-to-cover – even the personal ads (in fact, I met my husband by answering one of them). What had changed wasn’t the The New York Review of Books. What had changed was me. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

12/04/15 –  HATE REWRITING? GIVE IT TIME

Writing is rewriting. Like most writers, I do my best to apply this old adage, even though redrafting, revising, and “killing my darlings” often means a bruising battle with my ego. However, I recently discovered a pain-free way to rewrite: time. Time not only heals all wounds; it also anesthetizes the ego. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

11/04/15 – WORDS TO WRITE BY

I knew a boy in high school who kept laminated copies of favorite quotations in his wallet. Impressed, I started collecting favorite quotes about writing and art and life myself, and pinned them near my desk as inspiration. I still have them. And, yeah, I realize I could just Google any and every quote on writing or anything else these days. But these are my own private curated collection, and before the paper yellows much more, I want to share a few words of wisdom I’ve kept at my side for a lifetime.  (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

10/04/15 – DON QUIXOTE ON TAPEDon Quixote Cover

My book club is reading Don Quixote – and they’re hating it. This is an erudite group. They have plowed their way through ponderous and elusive authors like Faulkner and Jane Austen. They’ve devoted long hours to devouring All the King’s Men and The Tale of Genji. But Don Quixote is killing the best of them. And I think I know why. They’re all listening to, not reading, the book. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

9/4/15 – INTERVIEW WITH TESSA BRIDAL, AUTHOR OF RIVER OF PAINTED BIRDS

Called a “fresh voice in Latin American literature” by the New York Times for her debut novel TheTrTessa Bridal Headshotee of Red Stars, Tessa Bridal is about to enter new territory with a second novel, River of Painted BirdsSlated for release in mid-October in both English and Spanish language versions, this new novel follows the adventures of an 18th century Irish woman who marries an abusive husband at fifteen and boards a ship westward-bound ship after accidentally killing him six years later. Rather than landing in Boston as expected, she ends up in the country known today as Uruguay where she joins forces with a wealthy half-Indian smuggler and a renegade priest determined to save the native people from slavery. 
(Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

08/04/15 – TO SLEEP, PERCHANCE TO WRITE

When I’m not writing, I spend much of my time as a sleep evangelist, leading a nonprofit (Start School Later) dedicated to school hours in sync with sleep needs. In that role, I’m always Sleep is the Enemylooking for ways to persuade people to value sleep—and it struck me that I could almost certainly call on the writers of the world for some pithy, poignant, and mellifluous thoughts on the subject. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

Peter Gordon07/29/15 – PREVIEW OF AUGUST 1 GUEST BLOGGER, POET PETER M. GORDON

Prizewinning poet Peter M. Gordon, our August 1 Guest Blogger, offers five tips for marketing your poetry in the August 1 version of Late Last Night Books.  His poems have appeared in Slipstream, 34th Parallel, the Provo Canyon Review, 5-2 Crime Poetry, Cultural Weekly, and several other magazines and websites. He’s President of the Orlando Area Poets and teaches in Full Sail University’s Film Production MFA program. His collection, Two Car Garage, was published by CHB Media and is available on Amazon.com and other bookselling sites.

 

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

Henry Higgins library07/04/2015 – LONGING FOR A LIBRARY

When I was growing up, I wanted only two things in a future house: a swimming pool and a library. I never thought much about style, size, decor, or even location, location, location. I just wanted a pool so I could swim daily laps and a library like the one Professor Henry Higgins had in My Fair Lady.

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