"I crept toward the patterns of waves and crouched down to take off my sneakers. The knots seemed at first impossible. Double knots. Extra security. Double knots. Security for what? Shoe thieves. Double knots for shoe thieves. I laughed and the sound echoed off the water. I pulled the laces of my left shoe, and at last my feet were free. But then there were my socks. The curve of my toes inside the dimpled white cotton seemed to form a smile. I decided to leave them on."

Chapter 2: Space Oddity

Eustis Anne Avery wasn’t a normal girl, and she liked it like that. At the age of six, after an extensive...

read more

For Ruby

Always eat breakfast—protein, fiber, and not too much sugar.1 Take care of your teeth. Brush and floss every day.2

read more

Flip and Drag

“I can’t go into that place dressed like this.” Jerome Walker shakes his shoulders inside the loose, green Henley.

read more


I moved to Charlottesville when I was 18. My daughter was born when I was 25. I graduated from the University of Virginia at 28. I decided I wanted to complete a novel by the time I was 30. Six months before my 31st birthday, I wrote the last line of my first book.