I’ve been posting excerpts (six so far) of my current non-fiction work-in-progress on my substack for a while now, “the genealogy book.” With the discovery of my birth mother’s name and other details over the past decade, I’ve been deliberately working to explore some of these new threads and their implications. Over the past two months, I’ve been posting pieces on various Loyalist/New England threads, including Puritan (Boston, etcetera), German (I’m currently working a piece that references Philadelphia’s Germantown), Irish (the Peter Robinson settlers of Ontario) and Dutch (the New Netherlands settlement), as well as the counterpoint of my Glengarry Scottish upbringing and foundation. I have a whole new family tree, someone said. I think, instead, I simply have two trees that meet at the roots. Am I any less one side now because of this other?
I’m attempting to treat the substack like a weekly column, and most pieces that I’m posting these days are from this new project, although I am also interspersing with short stories and the occasional other essay on prose writers (I recently posted one on Joy Williams and another on Ernest Hemingway, for example, with another on Gail Scott forthcoming). You can sign up for free, or for the paid option. I’m only posting “paid” pieces every third or fourth, as there’s still a part of me that can’t quite offer terribly much that excludes non-paying options.