Cold War

The World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle

BBC Radio 4 ran a compelling show last Friday about The Stasi Jigsaw Puzzle--the shredded documents that form the core of my novel, The Puzzle People. As the Berlin Wall was coming down so...

Why is the Berlin Wall in My Living Room?

Okay, so the Berlin Wall in my living room doesn't quite match the real Wall's dimensions. But it comes close. The last generation of the Wall before it came down on November 9, 1989, stood...

Finding New Life in the Death Strip

An elderly man shoves two packages out of a fourth floor window, and then he crawls out and sits on the ledge, staring down at the ground below. Then slowly, carefully, he turns himself...

Canton Comes Through Again

One of the highlights of 2011 was the One Book, One Community program in Canton, Ohio, which adopted The Disappearing Man as its featured book. The Canton Repository newspaper continues its support with a...

The Puzzle People on CBS in Champaign

I did an interview on my Berlin novel, "The Puzzle People," this past week in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall came down on November 9, 1989,...

Thousands Protest Removal of Wall

  In 1989, tens of thousands of protesters tore down the Berlin Wall. But as The New York Times points out, the irony is that in 2013 people are protesting because they want the Wall to stay...
Image of the cover of the first issue of Peterson Pilgrim Magazine

Ordinary Objects, Extraordinary Stories: Introducing ‘Peterson Pilgrim’ Magazine

A letter that helped to convict a Nazi war criminal… A squeegee handle that saved the lives of half a dozen people on 9/11… A set of stairs that saved hundreds more… These ordinary objects played a...

How Prayer Brought Down the Berlin Wall

This week, as the world observed the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the forgotten stories from the amazing year of 1989 was what took place in Leipzig, East...

Wind of Change

One of the great things about researching my novel, The Puzzle People, was that I could go to Youtube and see videos taken of the Berlin Wall as it went up in 1961 and then came...

The Ladies in White Live On

Fidel Castro is dead. But the Ladies in White live on. Yoani Sanchez, one of the strongest voices for freedom in Cuba, tells about the origins of the Ladies in White movement in a 2011...