Back when I was about eight and my mom worked full-time in an era when most moms stayed home, I rebelled by reading all the short stories in her women's magazines. There were lots of them in those days, most of them marvelous glimpses into a grown-up world I could barely imagine, but that felt glamorous and forbidden and appealing. So I grew up writing women's fiction instead of becoming the doctor I told everybody I was going to be, turning from stories to novels and occasionally back again. I still remember lines from stories I read when I wasn't yet a teenager, still draw sustenance from them . . . and still feel enormously fortunate to have a reading life, and a writing life, all these decades later