Margaret Talbot tells the story of her father, actor Lyle Talbot, in her memoir The Entertainer. He began his career as an assistant to a traveling hypnotist, and went on to star in movies with Shirley Temple and Humphrey Bogart — and played next-door neighbor Joe Randolph on Ozzie and Harriet.
In California, lawyers are two weeks into a landmark federal court case challenging California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in that state. Margaret Talbot has been blogging about the trial for The New Yorker's Web site, and she has written about it in this week's issue of the magazine. A veteran journalist and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, Talbot writes about family life, women's work, children's culture, and politics and moral debates as they intersect with science and law.