...In The New York Times

March 17, 2018 | THE NEW YORK TIMES

These Days I Miss John Updike, a Remote and Noble Male Mentor

Over 20 years ago, in the fall of 1997, I got my first job, at The New Yorker magazine. A small-town girl from coastal Maine, I had graduated from Brown six months earlier and had been recommended by the writer Francine Du Plessix-Gray, a visiting professor there. I had taken the bus to New York City, with two pairs of nylons and two wool J. Crew suits packed into a small suitcase — one black, one a pale, beige-y blush — for my interview.

June 9, 2017 | THE NEW YORK TIMES

A House Haunted by a Mysterious Smell

We moved in the middle of a summer thunderstorm, dashing through the rain to haul things through the front door of our new 150-year-old house. This was Dan’s dream house, the kind he used to see sitting on the crest of hills while riding in the back of his parents’ old Ford Escort: a big, stately off-white colonial with a red door, two whitewashed chimneys, a jack pine and an apple tree out front.

I was attracted to the many rooms and the old pine floors preserved under carpet as old as Jimmy Carter. After years of living in small apartments in big cities — Los Angeles, New York, Paris — this was my own little slice of rural Maine.

January 2, 2013 | THE NEW YORK TIMES

In a Fixer-Upper, Leaks and Love

When I was a child, there was a running joke in our family about someday buying a fixer-upper. Whenever we took car trips, my mother would point out the window to long abandoned houses and say, "There’s a real fixer-upper for us!" And we’d all chuckle. It wasn’t just a joke: part of us wanted to believe that we, the Shetterlys, were capable of swooping in and bringing a collapsed pile of wood, glass and shingles back to life.

So when, in mid-September, a friend invited my husband, Dan, and me to take over his vacant house in rural Maine, we ignored any alarms that might have been associated with the word “vacant.” 

March 14, 2012 | THE NEW YORK TIMES

Drawing on Inspiration

When I was 12 going on 20, and mashing stacks of black jelly bracelets up my arms, painting my fingernails a frosty blue and wearing my hot-pink-and-black tiger print tank top five out of seven days of the week, I fell in love. Hard. With John Taylor, the bass player for the band Duran Duran.

In those days, I lived with my older brother, father and mother in a small house in the Maine woods that my parents had helped build (though they never quite finished: we had plywood floors, plastic casing around our windows that peeled from the edges where the Sheetrock and glass met, and doors that didn’t quite touch the jambs).

January 14, 2011 | THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Crazy Lady Upstairs

Before we took the apartment on Rialto — a palm-tree-and-bougainvillea-lined avenue a few blocks from the Pacific — the landlord told me about her. He said there was "a kind of daffy older lady" who’d be living above us. He said she was like "the concierge of the building" and had been there a few decades but sometimes drank too much and every so often would "yell."

...On Medium

May 31, 2013 | MEDIUM

I Look at Houses the Way Some Men Look at Cars

Lately, as I drive around, I find myself peering out the windows at houses. In my mind, I’m practically moving myself into other people’s lives: I’m painting their walls, arranging my chaise longue in a picture window, setting up my son’s room; I’m hanging my artwork, replanting window boxes with blue and yellow pansies, and putting in gardens on their front lawns.

May 24, 2013 | MEDIUM

I Share, Therefore I Am

What does sharing mean in the age of social media? Last weekend, we brought another family with us on a weekend away. They, too, have a small child who’s five — a year older than ours. As can often happen with small children (and perhaps even more so with small only children), there was a lot of refereeing of the sharing of things.

May 17, 2013 | MEDIUM

To Gray or Not to Gray: The Problem With Hair Dye

Should a Modern Mom Look as Old and Haggard as She Feels? The other day I noticed that I was way overdue for a spring spruce-me-up. And so I made two appointments — for an eyebrow wax and a haircut.

...On Public Radio

The Audio Diaries that inspired Made for You and Me

A Man, Woman, Baby And An Empty Bank Account 

March 21, 2009 • NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

Recession Diary: The Long And Winding Road Home

May 16, 2009 • NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

Recession Diary: From Mom's Home To Their Own

September 5, 2009 • NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

Recession Diary: A Turn In Fortunes

December 5, 2009 • NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

More from Caitlin on NPR here.

December 19, 2003 • PRI This American Life

Secret Santa. Very Secret Santa.

Caitlin Shetterly reports on a true-life holiday fable from rural Maine, complete with a misunderstood recluse with a heart of gold, a deserving family in need, and a very special Christmas tree farm with secrets of its own.

December 23, 2011  NPR Morning Edition

When Ambrosia Salad Spells Dread

Daniel Davis, a tall, thin birch tree of a man, is willing to eat almost anything. Indeed, cooking and eating are two unadulterated pleasures in Dan's life. 

June 15, 2002 • PRI / WNYC Studio360

Painting Me

The writer Caitlin Shetterly grew up in the gaze of a father who was a painter and a mother who was a writer. She reflects on how both parents drew on their daughter as a subject.

April 12, 2003 • PRI / WNYC Studio360

A Work in Progress

Most of us don't have a clue how we'd begin to write a novel. In this story, the writer Richard Ford explains how he does it. Richard Ford is one of the best observers of middle-aged American male angst. He’s now in the middle of writing his third book about Frank Bascome, the divorced dad protagonist of Ford’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel Independence Day. Richard Ford prepared for two years before starting this novel, and Caitlin Shetterly asked him to describe precisely how he works.

June 12, 2004• PRI / WNYC Studio360

Lanford Wilson

The great director Federico Fellini once said that a dark theatre is like a womb — safe, self-contained and life nourishing. The playwright Lanford Wilson toys with that safe feeling. His plays expose what's in the dark, both good and bad. Caitlin Shetterly spoke to Lanford Wilson about how darkness shapes his creative vision.