What do you remember as your first encounter with E.A. Poe? When I was 10 or 11 years old, my mother gave me The Purloined Letter to read. "What’s ‘purloined’ mean?" I asked. My mother, who had the largest active vocabulary of any person I have known, explained, and I read the story. When I finished, I was stunned. My eyes scanned the space around me, an upstairs bedroom in a tiny row house, looking for a location where a purloined letter might be hidden in plain sight. I remember that moment, and the look of the room so clearly that I am certain of my age at that time, for on my 12th birthday we moved away to the sleepy village of Bethesda.