Geneticists have long argued about the effects of having an extra male chromosome, a condition found in 1 of 1,000 men A battered paperback entitled The XYY Man, by Kenneth Royce, leans in a corner of my bookshelf. It’s a spy novel that chronicles the adventures of “Spider” Scott, an ex-felon who wants to become law-abiding, but…

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A nineteenth-century Szechuan hermit

How do you track down a bunch of hermits to interview? I recently needed an answer to that question when an editor at The Saturday Evening Post asked me to write an article about the lives of contemporary hermits. I agreed to give it a try if my story could focus on people with spiritual motivations for finding…

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