Category Archives: Recipes

The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #97


A Love Letter to Yourself: Self-Compassion Practice | Mindful
Three mindfulness exercises to help you get out of cycles of shame and put your energy toward kindness to yourself and others.
Distracted? Turn Your Screen Time into Mindfulness Time | Mindful
Tips and meditation ideas to turn everyday idle moments into opportunities for mindful awareness of the present moment.


How Negative Thinking Can Worsen Your Migraine Pain | Migraine Again
When you’re in pain, it’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking. Find out how this can affect migraine pain, and what you can do to control it.
The Best Tools Beyond Glasses for Managing Light Sensitivity | Migraine Again
Many people with photophobia due to migraine turn to light sensitivity glasses, but there are even more tools to help manage it. Learn from our community and experts about additional ways to manage migraine-related light sensitivity.

Trauma and Sexual Abuse

10 False Lessons Childhood Emotional Neglect Teaches You | Psychology Today
What you learn about your emotions and how they work sets up later problems.
3 ways to stimulate your vagus nerve | Unyte Integrated Listening
These exercises can stimulate the ventral vagus and help activate the social engagement system so we can be more regulated and receptive to therapy.
7 Books for Healing Trauma and Recovering from a Painful Past | Rising Woman
Just ten years ago, trauma was not part of the mainstream conversation. When we heard the word “trauma”, most people imagined a serious car accident, or something “catastrophic”. Fast forward to the present day, and our understanding of trauma is much more nuanced. And fortunately for our…

Mental Health

Codependent Relationship: 8 Signs You Are in One | Pink Villa
Trouble in relationships starts when one person starts controlling the other’s behavior. Here are some signs of a codependent relationship to watch out for.
Codependency and Childhood Trauma: Is There a Link? | Psych Central
Codependent behavior could be a response to early traumatic experiences, and you can make significant strides in overcoming it.


Ultimate Guide to Psychological Thrillers | She Reads
A great psychological thriller is one that combines mysteries and the masterful way the mind works, even in its darkest moments.
152 Nonfiction Books to Discover This Women’s History Month | Goodreads
March is Women’s History Month in the U.S. (in the U.K. and Australia, too!), and while we hold that it’s good to read about women’s history and acco…

Cooking and Baking

18 Dishes Every Home Cook Should Know How to Make, According to Chefs | Food and Wine
Add these basic recipes to your cooking repertoire.
28 Old-School Jewish Recipes Your Grandma Used to Make, from Latkes to Matzoh Ball Soup | Pure Wow
We may not make these old-school Jewish recipes *exactly* like Bubbe did, but we think we’re pretty close. Read on for 28 tasty ideas, traditional and modern alike, that are perfect for Hanukkah, Passover and everything in between.

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My Books

This is how the plan to kill your husband could begin. You come home early from work. You have a headache. A terrible headache. The worst headache of your life. You have this grant proposal to write. It’s not finished, and it was due yesterday. Your boss is gone for a week, so you bring the proposal home with you. After you open the door, you hear a noise.

“George?” you say.

Head throbbing, you wander into the living room. No one’s there, but you hear another noise. Upstairs. You find your husband in the hallway which leads to the bedroom. He’s naked, but he’s wearing his glasses. To see you better. He’s pale. He’s sweating.

“George,” you say, genuine concern in your voice, “what are you doing home in the middle of the day? Are you ill?”

He makes a movement, backward, toward the door. Too late. A young woman steps from the bedroom. She’s also naked, but she’s not wearing glasses. She doesn’t have to: she can see you perfectly well. You can see her, too. She is young. Lovely. Thin. George introduces her.

“This is Monica,” he says. “My assistant.”

This is Monica. That is just like George. Naked, wearing glasses, saying to his wife, “This is my girlfriend.” You say nothing. Your headache, however, suddenly gets worse. That is how the plan to kill your husband could begin.

Or perhaps it begins like this:

Naked, with Glasses (short stories)

Edgy, memorable, and engagingly written, these award-winning stories display another aspect of Szeman’s talent — that for short fiction. Filled with distinct voices, unique characters, surprising plot-twists, and successful experimental writing innovations (such as “Sorry, Wrong Number, Redux,” which is entirely in dialogue), this prize-winning collection secures the author’s critically acclaimed reputation in this genre as well, adding to the accolades she has already garnered for her novels, poetry, and non-fiction.


• Grand Prize
UKA [United Kingdom Authors] Press
International Creative Writing Competition
• “Naked, with Glasses,” 3rd Prize, Story Magazine “Seven Deadly Sins” Contest

The Kommandant’s Mistress, (a novel)

Part One: The Kommandant, Chapter One

“Then I saw her. There she stood, in the village store, her hair in a long braid down the center of her back, her skin white in the sunlight, and my hand went to my hip, seeking the weight of my gun. As the girl spoke, I stumbled back against one of the shelves, my fingers tightening at the leather around my waist. While the shopkeeper arranged the food in the bag, the morning sun glinted on the storefront windows, illuminating the girl. The wooden shelves pressed into my shoulders and back. Sweat dampened my forehead and ribs. Another shopper spoke, frowned, pushed aside my arm to reach a jar on the shelf behind me, but I didn’t move. My hand slid down over my hip and leg. No, I’d forgotten that I no longer wore my gun…”


The rumors spread by the Camp’s inmates, other Nazi officers, and the Kommandant’s own family insist that she was his “mistress,” but was she, voluntarily? Told from three different perspectives – that of the formerly idealistic Kommandant, the young Jewish inmate who captivates him, and the ostensibly objective historical biographies of the protagonists – this novel examines one troubling moral question over and over: if your staying alive was the only “good” during the War, if your survival was your sole purpose in this horrific world of the Concentration Camps — whether you were Nazi or Jewish — what, exactly, would you do to survive?  Would you lie, cheat, steal, kill, submit?

Flashing back and forth through the narrators’ memories as they recall their time before, during, and after the War, and leading, inevitably, to their ultimate, shocking confrontation, “Szeman’s uncompromising realism and superb use of stream-of-consciousness technique make [this novel] a chilling study of evil, erotic obsession, and the will to survive” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

New York Times Book Review “Notable Book” and one of its “Top 100 Books of the Year,”  Winner of the University of Rochester’s Kafka Prize for “the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman,” the tales told by the Kommandant, his “mistress,” and their “biographer” will mesmerize and stun you, leaving you wondering, at the conclusion, which, if any, is telling the complete truth about what happened between them.


• New York Times Book Review “Notable Book”
and “Top 100 Books of Year”
• University of Rochester Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize
“the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman”
• Publishers Weekly (* review) “Outstanding Merit”
• Talmadge McKinney Award “Excellence in Research”

(originally published by HarperCollins / HarperPerennial NY)

My Other Books

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