Jeanne Bonner

Print & Web

For The New York Times

Recording the Sound of My Child’s Voice

Many parents these days seem to obsessively celebrate their children’s developments by snapping photo after photo on their cellphone cameras.

Me? I record my son’s words in my notebook, on my phone, in my laptop. I want the audio record, and the written one; they capture one of the most evanescent aspects of childhood – the linguistic shooting star of early speech. I’m reminded often of its fleeting nature, even if sometimes I can do little more than marvel to myself.

In Toy Ads and on the Runway, Models with Down Syndrome

In a new commercial for the Fisher-Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway, Lili Boglarka Havasi claps and smiles as the cars zoom down the plastic raceway. It’s a typical holiday toy ad except for one fact: Lili has Down syndrome.



DSC_2775Making the Most of Your Trip to Italy

You’ve booked the tickets, perused Instagram, and told everyone you know you’re going to Italy. You’ll soon be enjoying la dolce vita in some of the most beautiful cities in the world. So you’re all set, right? Well maybe not.

Italy is paradise, but it can also be inferno (just ask Dante). The intense heat, the crazy crowds of tourists, and the Italian penchant for closing a shop just at the moment you walk up can all conspire to frazzle even the most seasoned traveler. All that considered, here are five ideas for making the most of your trip to Italy.

For Atlanta Magazine

Candace Hill Is the Fastest Girl Alive

For Candace Hill, life is now divided into two eras: before the 10.98 and after the 10.98.

Last June the Rockdale County high school junior ran a 100-meter sprint in Seattle in 10.98 seconds and became—officially—the fastest girl in the world.

For more stories by me in Atlanta Magazine, go here.


For Asymptote Journal’s blog


Is Italian Literature Having Its Moment?

Last year, a hashtag became wildly popular in the American literary scene for an author no one has seen and who writes in a foreign language.

This year, a different author—one whom everyone knows because she’s won a Pulitzer Prize, among other honors—is taking the nearly unprecedented step of publishing a memoir called In Other Words in dual language format. And—wait for it—the part of the book that contains her original manuscript isn’t in English.

The two authors have something in common: they both write in Italian. That, and they could be presiding over a renaissance in Italian literature (Well, they may be, if publishers, cultural organizations and/or the Italian government exploit this convergence. More on this later).


Hollywood’s Struggle to Deal with AIDS in the 80s

In the early 1980s, the AIDS crisis was being covered nightly on the news — but that was likely the only time you’d hear about it on your television. The entertainment industry struggled to produce story lines or songs around an epidemic that was shaping the national conversation of that decade.

For Georgia Public Broadcasting

Lobbyists at the Capitol

Ethics: The Ghost of Legislatures Past

It’s getting crowded at the state Capitol. Now you might be thinking, so what? Well, that’s a sign that we’re getting down to the nitty gritty of the session. The halls are full of lobbyists, activists and visitors. Two Congressmen even stopped in to call on Thursday. And the flow of bills seems unstoppable. The House alone had a dozen bills on its calendar Thursday.

But like Ebenezer Scrooge confronting the Ghost of Christmas Past, lawmakers this week are also asking questions about a bill they passed last year that caps lobbyist spending. On Tuesday, lawmakers attended a joint Q&A session to straighten out growing confusion about how to abide by the law. And then on Thursday, the House ethics committee met to approve three caucuses that would be exempt from the spending limit (in many cases, it’s not clear what the bill deems a caucus).


header3What’s An ‘NRA Democrat’?

Last month, 119 state legislators in the House voted for a sweeping gun bill that, if Gov. Nathan Deal signs it into law, would loosen restrictions on taking firearms into churches, government buildings and other places previously off-limits. Republicans pushed the measure, after failing to pass a similar bill in the waning moments of the 2013 legislative session.

But some Democrats are also supporting the measure — including state Senator Jason Carter, who’s running against Republican Governor Nathan Deal.

For Consequence Magazine

Book review: All the Ways We Kill and Die by Brian Castner