Dinah Lenney’s book, The Object Parade, is a collection of interconnected essays that examine meaningful objects – her grandfather’s piano, her mother’s green earrings, her mole – and the stories that they evoke from her life. In this edition, Jeffrey Masters sits down and talks with Dinah Lenney about her new book, The Object Parade.
“It flashed: a pale, round star in the lobe of her ear; a circle of stone shot through with light — not emerald, or chartreuse, or aquamarine — a color like no other.” – Dinah Lenney on her Mother’s Green Earrings, from The Object Parade
Dinah grew up on the East Coast, outside Boston and New York City, and graduated from a small public high school just north of Manhattan. She earned her Bachelor’s at Yale and a Certificate of Acting from the Neighborhood Playhouse School, eventually moving to Los Angeles where, among other roles, she landed the long-recurring part of Nurse Shirley on NBC’s critically acclaimed series, ER. Dinah’s continued to work on stage, in film, and on television, playing a wide range of roles in theatre and musical theatre, and guest-starring on series too many to mention, among them Law and Order, Without a Trace, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Sons of Anarchy. She’s taught in acting programs at Universities all over the country, and is the co-author, with Mary Lou Belli, of Acting for Young Actors (Random House). Dinah’s memoir, Bigger than Life, was published in the American Lives Series at the University of Nebraska Press, and excerpted for the “Lives” column in The New York Times Sunday Magazine. A full time Assistant Professor in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, Dinah also serves as core faculty for the Bennington Writing Seminars (where she took an MFA in Creative Nonfiction in 2003), and for the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. She’s written essays and reviews for literary journals, anthologies, and newspapers, print and online, and was especially mentioned in the Pushcart Anthology XXXIV. Dinah lives, with her husband and children, in Echo Park, close enough to Dodger Stadium to hear the roar of the crowd.