Click on the image to order from Amazon

Or Order from the publisher

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What's New in BinnieWorld???

Literature and Animal Enthusiast Marshall Zeringue has a terrific blog. He invited me to answer some questions about my morning coffee ritual and about my dog:

Coffee With a Canine, Binnie Klein and Griffin!

Then he asked me what I was reading lately:

What Binnie Klein is Reading

Recently WNPR's Colin McEnroe invited me to participate in a Friday taping of "The Nose," in New Haven:

Me on Colin McEnroe's "the Nose" On WNPR

On my WPKN Radio show, I featured the first "Mini-Muffin" Author Interview

Author Mini-Muffin with Mary-Lou Weisman

What some more?

Here's a WPKN show from November 7, 2013:

A Miniature World with Binnie Klein on WPKN

And Here's an audio riff on Autumn:

What does Autumn do?

And Oh! Here's a little story I did for Susan Bordo's blog about her latest book. I talk about Tudor Houses:

I Always Thought the One Tudor House in my Newark Neighborhood was Magical


Friday, March 2, 2012

Facing Grief With a Little Help From My “Friends” – Facebook’s Surprising Benefits

I’m not the most social of people.  That would surprise people who hear me on the radio at WPKN, chatting, spinning tunes, interviewing all kinds of people. That would surprise people who have seen me give talks, do readings, crack jokes, try to inspire, and generally…perform.  Like a lot of introverts, I can extrovert very well. But it comes at a price.  I am drained by it. 

My career as a psychotherapist involves me with people in a gratifying, intimate, but relentless way.  By the time I get home, I seek the comfort of my big fuzzy throw, the tender company of my dogs, and a distracting reality TV show.  Dinner with my husband is sometimes silent. Not because we don’t have much to say to each other.  We’ve been chattering away ever since we met 22 years ago.  It’s because I’m refueling through quiet and simplicity and inner-directedness.

Categorizing personalities into “types” is a tricky thing.  In my work, you take the storehouse of knowledge about psychological functioning and use what works, while trying always to see the person as an individual. The contributions of great theorists, practitioners, and devisers of diagnostic criteria are vitally helpful, and can inform the treatment, but humans are complicated, and when we start generalizing, we risk losing a personal connection.

That said, I recently came upon a book about “Enneagrams” – a system of nine personality types that claims ancient origins, and has been taught since 1970.  A patient asked me to consider reading the book after she found it extremely helpful in understanding her marriage and divorce.  Her motivation for avoiding future destructive patterns was very high.  I’m always a skeptic and a snob when it comes to self-help books; it goes with my profession.  Men Are From Mars, I’m Okay; You’re Okay, The Four Secrets – even the titles make me cringe.  But I also know that people are hungry for keys to self-understanding, and those keys can be found in surprising places.

If you get the Enneagram book, make sure to get one that has the test in it, so you can identify which type you think best describes you.  It didn’t take me long to resonate with personality four: The Artist (sorry it sounds so lofty!), described as “The Creative-Individualistic-Introverted-Depressive Person.” Fours are introspective and intuitive, and at their best, compassionate, intuitive and creative.  At their worst, they can be self-critical and pessimistic.

Like a true “four,” I’ve sought to arrange a life that allows time and space for possible creative bursts, and that requires a fair amount of time alone.  I want to transform my experience into something valuable to others.  I want to inspire and entertain, and I want to learn.  So over many decades, it’s been through poetry, articles and essays, and a memoir, and it’s been through radio shows and production that I’ve had the opportunity to try to do this. Sometimes the magic happens. Most of the time there is a whole lot of self-doubt, procrastination, and false starts.  Right now, I’m not sure what my next book will be, but I know there is one.  So I feel adrift.  Something is missing. 

Like a true “four,” I can become too isolative.  Which brings me back to my main point.  I can adore, love, and appreciate people, but I’m always just a little bit afraid….

I joined facebook reluctantly, like a lot of you.  I didn’t really want to find long-lost grade school chums, I wasn’t trolling for a new relationship, and I couldn’t see much else to it. But when my memoir came out in 2010, the world was abuzz with “social media.”  Use it! Join it! Network! Brand! Connect!  I followed the mandate, especially since SUNY Press was a small press with an overworked marketing department.  I had to do my own grassroots marketing.  I found it be surprisingly enjoyable.  I liked building up the “friends” numbers.  Connecting with other writers, radio producers, and people involved in the boxing community (an aspect of the memoir) was, well, FUN.

Facebook fits my schizoid personality. I like feeling connected without draining my battery. I can dip in and out of the connection.  I know that my thousand-plus “friends” are not like true intimates; I’m not delusional! Some of them I have met, at readings and events; perhaps I’ll meet more.  My world has expanded.

So the quips and postings and music videos and comments and political opinions go on and on….and I’ve joked that Facebook is like “crackbook” – addictive and often a huge time-waster.  That’s all true.

But this week, when I had to put my 12 and a half year old dog, Sabine, to sleep, Facebook offered something I never would have expected:  solace.

Yes, of course the friends I see regularly, and the relatives I see or talk to on the phone were immensely helpful.  My husband and I have cried together.  Sabine’s half-brother Griffin, who must be wondering where his buddy is, is my close companion through these days.  He’s under my desk right now,

I wondered whether to post about her illness at all.  I was critical of people who gave “too much information” on Facebook, from the superficial (‘I had oatmeal for breakfast’) to the unbearably poignant and sad (‘no one will ever love me’). 

Once I had mentioned Sabine's illness, and her decline came fast, Sonia Taitz, author of “In the King’s Arms,” who I had interviewed a few weeks back on WPKN and then met at her reading in New Haven, posted a simple phrase: “Let us know how it turns out.”  “Us?”  Who was this “us?”

So I decided to follow her request
  
Wednesday, February 29, 2012:  Status Update: Unfortunately, we lost our beloved Sabine today. A dog with a beautiful spirit; she put up a good fight, but a ruptured gallbladder and bladder tumor....well, we had to make that most awful of decisions that it is every pet lover's obligation...to prevent her suffering.

Almost 40 people responded, with genuinely empathetic comments; some lovingly commiserating, some with tales of their own losses, some with tips for grieving, some with profound acknowledgement of this amazing obligation we take on when we care for a pet – that we will outlive them, and will most likely be responsible for deciding the time of their death. 

And the crazy thing is, it really helped.  I felt less alone.  My Facebook was a small hive resonating with my own personal loss.  I wanted to respond individually to each of the people who took the time to say something, to say anything, to share their own pain, but I was uncertain: would that make me a Facebook crackpot? So I decided to write this just to say thank you to the Hive.

STATUS UPDATE:  Griffin and I going to emerge from my study now and go into the kitchen. I’m going to give him a treat.  Sabine couldn’t have treats in the last year (prescription diet only), so neither of them got any, and I think he’s been missing them.







Monday, January 30, 2012

GREAT COVERAGE OF WOMEN BOXERS HEADED TO OLYMPICS 2012

NPR Series on Women Boxers

It's starting to happen....we're starting to see media coverage and excitement building towards the 2012 Olympics inclusion of women boxers.  Above is Part One of a series. The first segment is called "I am a Boxer: Fighter in the Ring, Lady Outside It," and it aired on Morning Edition.

WNYC website article on women boxing

See this article on women boxers on WNYC's website

And.......

New York Times Magazine piece on women boxers, Sunday, January 29, 2012
Sue Jaye Johnson’s video and photo essay, Bout Time in The New York Times Magazine section was also published yesterday and is  fantastic.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Recent Articles

"The Boxing Ballerina" for 8Countnews.com

Review of "The Fighter" for Mediaite.com

Boxing/Promoter/Philosopher -- Dmitriy Salita

About Binnie's writing:
"I really do love Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind and the immediate impact it's had on my life, and I hope it wins a large readership." -- Susan Henderson, Up From the Blue

"Binnie Klein continues to indulge her affections for the Sweet Science, proving yet again how boxing is, in Liebling's words, "connected to the historic past like a man's arm to his shoulder." Boxing has been an oasis in our often lamentable history of division and discrimination -a place where two fighters have no choice but to meet on equal terms and victory is far more merit-based than it is in the so-called real world. Klein shines much-needed light on a fading sport. Let's hope it shines again" -- Springs Toledo

"...elegantly literary, funny, philosophical, moving, and endlessly intriguing...a wonderful discovery! -- Katharine Weber, True Confections

Television Appearances

Video Trailer on You Tube for book

Interview on Channel 8

TJC Cable, "The Salon"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Star in the Ring documentary!


I am a Consulting Producer for Holden Kepecs' much-anticipated documentary about Jewish boxers, "Star in the Ring."
http://www.pugilistpictures.com

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Cover Story" in Barnes and Noble blog

Melissa Walker's blog for Barnes and Noble describes the processes we go through as authors in watching the evolution of our book covers.
Click here to read about my story.

"Fighting for the Borscht Belt: Gleason's Gym Sets Up Camp at Last Kosher Resort"


Yes, dear reader, I went to camp this summer -- boxing camp.

I ate kasha with former champions, chatted with a dance instructor whose story was told in Dirty Dancing, survived an hour with Hector Roca, wandered the halls of the last kosher resort in the Catskills, and read from my book to a wonderful group of campers...

Here's my article in the Forward newspaper, 9/24/10
and LISTEN HERE for my Radio Piece.

Monday, August 9, 2010

NY times Coverage of reading


Hey - really cool - The "Shrinks Are Away" reading in Soho at McNally Jackson books was a great event AND got covered in the New York Times!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Binnie on Broadway! (well, almost....)


On Wednesday, August 25, I'll be co-hosting a talkback with NYTimes Ethicist Randy Cohen about his provocative play "The Punishing Blow" at the Clurman Theatre! It's a very cool one man show w/Seth Duerr as an anti-Semitic college professor who must contend with the achievements of British bare-knuckle boxer Daniel Mendoza. Please come and be a part of the discussion about this intriguing and unique play.
INFO

Interview in The Nervous Breakdown

Susan Henderson did a wonderful interview with me for a great publication, The Nervous Breakdown!
Interview

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Blows" reviewed on WSHU

click here to hear June 3 review on WSHU