Tag: names



When I arrived at the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission, I was warmly greeted by a great cluster of children, each of whom hugged me and told me their name. A minute went by. Then came the first question,  “Do you remember my name, auntie?”  As a teacher, I have long known the value of remembering students’ names.  In fact, I make a practice of calling my students by name over and over again during the first few classes, because I believe that if you keep calling people by their names, other people will call them by their names too. They will remember the names, will become friends and the class will be a success. All of which is to say, I desperately wanted to remember each child’s name. But it was so hard. There were so many names to remember, and the names were so unfamiliar and even if I remembered them I didn’t say them right. Rosey and Shane and Gladys were easy to memorize. But then there was Roshni and Khushboo and Jyotika. I spent the first day fumbling around and everywhere I turned was a beautiful child looking at me and saying, “Do you remember my name, auntie?” That first night I thought […]

Read More


So, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m writing a story about a woman who is the daughter of a serial murderer and I needed to think of a name for her. She’s very well-educated and her father, in addition to being a killer, or perhaps because of it, was a great pianist. I considered Aria, which I think is a pretty name, but I was concerned people would confuse her with Arya Stark, and also it seemed somewhat playful and I did not picture her father as being playful in any context.  Then I thought of Cosima Wagner, a woman I’ve always found fascinating. She was born on Christmas Eve 1837, the illegitimate daughter of the great pianist Franz Liszt. Her name derives from St. Cosmas, the patron saint of physicians and apothecaries. She was not a great beauty. She’s always reminded me a bit of Wallis Simpson, another interesting woman. When Cosima was a young woman she married pianist Hans von Bulow, who was Liszt’s most devoted student, but perhaps not the most exciting and romantic individual. During their honeymoon, they went to visit the German composer Richard Wagner, a very exciting and romantic individual, with certain major personality flaws. The next year they visited […]

Read More

Search By Tags