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About the Author...

William Alexander, when not burning bread, under-watering his garden, choking on a French r, or writing, is the director of technology at a psychiatric research institute, where he has spent the past three decades, (he believes, perhaps naively, as a researcher, not a researchee). He attended Duke University until, after spending two years in the basement of the engineering building trying to get a picture on the oscilloscope, he wisely changed his major to English Literature, transferring to the University at Albany, where he graduated in 1974. Unable to find work related to his field (deconstructing Kafka) he did a short stint as a math teacher, finally re-entering the technology field as the computer age dawned (and, more importantly, oscilloscopes faded from the scene), in 1981.

Bill is a regular contributor to the New York Times op-ed page, where he has opined on such varied issues as Martha Stewart's release from prison, his offbeat view (published on Christmas Eve, no less) on Christmas trees, what the honeybee crisis means to the home gardener, the relevance of Arbor Day, and the difficulties of being organic, and most recently, on The Benefits of Failing at French, which achieved the distinction of being the most viewed, e-mailed, tweeted, and Facebook-ed article of July 16, 2014.

Bill's latest project (some critics mistakenly call these "obsessions") in becoming fluent in French in late middle age. Why French? Perhaps Bill agrees with the Merovingian, who in The Matrix Revolutions, pronounced, "I have sampled all the world's languages and French is the most beautiful." But also, as it turns out, one of the most maddening and illogical. But never fear, for, as with home vegetable gardens and artisan bread, Bill will be there to explain all to you.

Bill's other hobbies include cooking, woodworking, kayaking, and swimming. His former hobbies include home renovation (never again) and child-rearing (never, ever again). Bill and his incredibly patient, long-suffering wife live in New York's Hudson Valley, minus a son who has moved 3,000 miles way and a daughter who has only gone 800 miles.

He can be contacted at