Wen Stephenson

Wen Stephenson is the managing editor of the Web edition of PBS's
Frontline and the former editor of The Atlantic Online.

Recent Articles

Books in Review:

All Over but the Shoutin'
By Rick Bragg. Vintage Books, 329 pages, $14.00

Ava's Man
By Rick Bragg. Random House, 272 pages, $13.00

An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood
By Jimmy Carter. Touchstone Books, 288 pages, $15.00

Travel: Lonelier Planet

I was in Bombay on January 17, 1991, sitting in the
Indian Airlines office in the financial district, when I heard the first rumors
of bombs falling on Baghdad. My mission was to make last-minute ticket changes
while my traveling companion, a fellow American, went to Bombay's Victoria
Terminus to book us on that evening's eastbound train to Aurangabad. We had
decided to change our itinerary, which was rather loose to begin with, in order
to do the "tourist thing" and see the famous Hindu caves at Ellora and Ajanta. We
were not quite at the midway point of our half-year trek across Asia.

Mrs. Vendler's Profession

Poor, old Robert Frost--destined to be knocked around as a political tennis ball ever since that day in December 1960 when John F. Kennedy called him at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and asked if he would read a poem at the upcoming inauguration. According to Frost biographer Jay Parini, Kennedy first suggested that Frost compose something new for the occasion, but the poet demurred. So Kennedy, who was well acquainted with Frost's poetry, fell back on Plan B and suggested that the 86-year-old national icon read his poem "The Gift Outright" (first published in 1942, in A Witness Tree), the 16 lines of which go like this: