Meredith Sue Willis's

Books for Readers # 169

April 17, 2014

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In this Issue:

Pearl S. Buck Memoirs of her Parents;
Short Takes; A Word from the Sponsor;
The E-Reader Report with John Birch;
Things to Read Online; Announcements


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I want to reommend two books by Pearl S. Buck about her mother and her father (image to left: Buck on the far left with father, little sister, mother, and beloved nurse).

I've been reading Buck's work for several months in preparation for a talk at Buck's birthplace in June, and I want to acknowledge the direction given to me by Eddy Pendarvis and Phyllis Moore in choosing the core Buck works to read. I've featured some reviews of her work and of books about her (see Eddy Pendarvis on a rediscovered Buck novel and Dreama Frisk on a Buck biography .

Few few people associate Buck, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature, with my home state of West Virginia, largely because she is tied so closely with China where she grew up. Her parents were dedicated missionaries, and she grew up bilingual in English and Chinese, experiencing revolution and war at a very early age. She witnessed the results of terrible famine and the abandoned corpses of baby girls. Her Pulitzer prize winning early novel The Good Earth--under-valued today though often greatly loved-- was all most Americans knew about China in the first half of the twentieth century. Buck was highly successful as a popular writer and speaker and founded organizations for giving homes to orphans here in the States. She was a woman of great power and political activism as well as being the major interpreter of Chinese life to Americans.

Much of her good work, however, was supported by a string of old-fashioned B-grade pot boilers. The two books I want to talk about are among her best. The memoir/biography of her mother is called The Exile, and it is a document of love and praise. She calls Carie Sydenstricker the most human person she ever knew, by which she means not dedicated to abstractions like her father with his god-driven life, but rather warm and caring and giving practical aid to everyone around her, while remaining humorous and playful and sometimes angry-- in spite of the deaths of children and political turmoil that endangered her family.

Buck makes Carie an amazingly gallant and attractive person. She died in her early sixties, so she was very much herself at the end, still grabbing for and loving life– maybe more openly in her final years than during her youth, when she when she always seemed to think she was somehow bad or faulty for not being more "spiritual" and "saintly" like her husband. I've never read such a convincing love letter to a mother– also full of incidents in the peculiar lives of the American protestant missionary community in China in the late 1800's.

Pearl Buck's father, on the other hand, is clearly much more difficult for her to write about. Yet here too she manages to create a full and wryly loving portrait, even though the man caused much harm and pain to his family.  Fighting Angel: Portrait of a Soul is a struggle-- ultimately successful-- to understand someone whose strengths are all dispassionate and in many ways inhuman. Had he not been her father, she probably would never have been able to be so kind to him. The story is of a quintessentially nineteenth century American mind spoiled by religious certainty. He believes in submitting himself fully to his religion, about which he appears to have no doubts. He also operates under a fully developed patriarchal system of values: as he submits to God, he expects the women in his family to submit to him. Buck writes of the missionaries as a group that "Religion in their case, as in so many another, has hardened their hearts and made it impossible for them so see, except through the dark glass of their own creed, what life is or ought to be."

And yet Absalom or "Andrew" as she calls him, apparently had a great deal of a kind of distant charm. He was also anti-racist (stood up for Chinese preachers when the Europeans and other Americans were deeply contemptuous of them), and was much loved, especially in his later years, by many Chinese who called him "The Old Teacher."  He was also physically courageous, staying put during revolutions when other missionaries fled. She sums him up at the end by saying, "But Andrew never touched the fringe of human life, he never knew its stuff, he never felt its doubt nor shared its pain. And so he lived, a happy soul, and never knew he died."

Whew. What a great line. She makes a powerful case for the happiness of a man who is completely sure of his direction, of his end, of his work.

 

 

                                                                                  Meredith Sue Willis

 

 

 

 

A Word from the Sponsor: Newest Love Palace Reviews!



E-Book from Foreverland Press
Kindle --  Nook --  iBook --  All Digital formats

 

 

SHORT TAKES    (by MSW Unless Otherwise Noted)

 

Phyllis Moore on Zelda Fitzgerald's Save Me the Waltz:

I just read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, one of the latest Zelda novels, and gave it an "I Like It" on Goodreads. One book does lead to another.

After years of avoiding it, I'm listening to Zelda's only published novel Save Me the Waltz (it was dumped on by USA critics but lauded in Europe). I'd assumed it was 2nd rate but now find I I like it very much, perhaps because it is so autobiographical, and partly because it opens in Montgomery. Montgomery is one of those glittering white small southern towns and she describes it so well. Plus, Jim and I visited the house she and Scott rented there and walked on the wooden floor in her "ballet" room.

The novel is like Zelda: Over the top and beautiful. I can see and smell the flowers and watch the flirty deb. I'd hoped to read along as a I listened.  Unfortunately, no local library has a copy!  I guess they were discarded in prior sales. It really is a listeners novel. Her flowery language comes across well in speech and I might have skipped some of it as I speed along.  It is said she wrote it in six weeks but she must have thought about it for years. Scott objected to its publication but finally agree to "allow" it to be published. He had struggled with  writing TENDER IS THE NIGHT for about three years and would not finish it for four more. The two novels are basically about their marriage.

 

#specialcharacters by Larissa Shmailo

I thought this was going to be all poetry, but it is much more experimental than that, ending with a wonderful piece about a woman who is close to the end of the line with aging, mental illness, and poverty. It's called "MIRROR, or a Flash in the Pan." It is very close to fiction, although it certainly has passages of poetry. It's an excellent piece, crystal clear and shockingly honest. The collection also includes what is rightfully maybe Shmailo's most famous (popular?) poem, available to read on line, "The Other Woman's Cunt". This one is angry, raunchy, vicious and -- by the way! -- hilarious.

There is a fair amount of typographical experimentation and deep connections to literature and mythology, but at its heart, as a whole, the book has the remarkable quality of being extremely moving even when you aren't sure what's going on.

That's a serious statement, too, because you have the feeling that things that look like games on the surface – for example, a short poem called " t(his), (he)re" – are in fact the only way Shmailo could have written what she wanted to write. This is highly recommended as both interesting experimental work and for its powerful emotional connections.

Learn more about Larissa Shmailo here.

 

 

Rama: Gaze in My Direction by Liz Lewinson

This biography of Frederick Philip Lenz, III, Ph.D., also known as Rama and Atmananda, is written by a woman whose spiritual practice was profoundly formed by him. It traces the first part of his life, including his youth and his time as a follower of Sri Chinmoy as well as the founding of his own institutions.

Rama taught what he termed American Buddhism with a mix of Zen, Tibetan, Vedanta, and other forms of mysticism. Among other things, Lewinson recounts miracles witnessed by various individuals and has interviewed many people for their take on Rama.

There was controversy surrounding Rama, but you can find that easily enough on the web. Essentially, this is a biography of a fascinating human being who claimed–and is believed by many – to have been both an enlightened teacher and the culmination of many past lives.

 

 

 

 

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup

As of this writing, I haven't yet seen the movie, but the book is thoroughly worth reading on its own. it is an excellent example of the slave narratives that were published in the 19th century. This one came out just after Uncle Tom's Cabin (Twelve Years in 1853, Uncle Tom in 1852), and Northrup dedicated his book to Harriet Beecher Stowe. It is an as-told-to book (edited by David Wilson), written to some large extent as propaganda, with a trajectory (like Uncle Tom's Cabin) of increasingly evil slaveholders, geographically deeper into the South. In this case, there is the happy ending of Northrup's release.

He is, as I assume most people know at this point, a free man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery The book is clearly and simply told, gripping for its witness. It doesn't spend a lot of time on the despair that Northrup must have felt during those twelve years– it narrates the despair but doesn't dramatize it– focusing on the facts, which are damning enough without any melodrama at all.

One of the interesting points is how impossible it would have been for Northrup to run away and get home from the bayous of Louisiana on his own. Much of the fascination is learning about the everyday lives of the enslaved-- details, for example, of their diet and how they supplemented it

Don't forget you can get this free from Project Gutenberg and elsewhere. Also, take a look at the article in the New Yorker about the historian who got a shout out from Steve McQueen at the Oscars– a Louisiana woman whose historical work centered on Northrup:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2014/03/the-historian-who-unearthed-twelve-years-a-slave.html .

 

 

Geek Love By Katherine Dunn

This is one of those books known as a cult classic-- the story of a carnival sideshow family that creates its own side show children. It's engaging in its satisfyingly weird way. The ending is a little contrived, but I can't imagine anything better--warm-hearted in spite of all the ugliness of creating handicapped children and exploitation all around.. Artie, the boy who is all torso, smokes cigars and takes over the Binewski family. He's essentially a sleazy little godfather, sexy in his perverted way. There are a couple of pulled punches--incest is never quite acted out, although it was obviously in the air and would have simplified some of the complicated plot stresses. Published in 1989, it was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Dunn has not written a novel since Geek Love, but is an accomplished writer about boxing!

 

 

Forever Sad the Hearts by Patricia L. Walsh

This Vietnam war novel was Phyllis Moore's suggestion while I was looking for books by nurses. I now find that it has been repackaged as a memoir, River City. As far as I can tell, it's the same book with a new cover and some photos. Walsh also has a memoir of PTSD and a movie called The Other Angels about going to a celebration of nurses in Vietnam back in '93 or so.

This novel, which I always assumed was mostly a memoir, is structured around the experience of a civilian nurse in Vietnam during the intensifying attacks from the North Vietnam/Viet Cong forces.  It is totally gripping, and amazingly real: the extreme American desire to "do something," and how half the time or more that turns out to be a failure. The insanity of bombing villages and then bringing the wounded into the civilian hospitals for treatment. The horror of patients choking on their own worms, the inability to tell who is on whose side.

This is the first in-country Vietnam story that made real emotional sense to me: the soldier stories have always mostly made me want to flee. But this story is about women, twenty-something nurses, who want to help and also want adventure. They save babies, take them to orphanages (run by half-French nuns), then have to run from bombs. They sleep with loaded pistols beside their beds. They drink a lot.

There are only a few glances at politics when the nurses and their friends comment on the irony of giving medical care to the people the soldiers and shooting and bombing and burning, always returning to how evil the communists must be. The soldiers themselves bring the victims in. There is a constant scramble to borrow supplies as the supplies sent to the civilian hospitals are usually stolen before they arrive.

Not great literature, but powerful witness.

 

Books on War From a Non-Eurocentric or American Perspective

Joydeep Roy-Battacharya, author of the excellent The Watch (reviewed in Issue #163), suggests three books about war from a non-Eurocentric perspective:

 

1. Bao Ninh, The Sorrow of War (about the Vietnam war)

2. Hassan Blasim, The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories of Iraq (about the war in Iraq)

3. Tahar ben Jelloun, This Blinding Absence of Light

 

He also reminded us of the great religious-philosophical classic The Bhagavad Gita, which takes place in the middle of a war.

 

 

THE E-READER REPORT WITH JOHN BIRCH: YOU MAY HAVE SOME MONEY COMING TO YOU...

... but it may not be much, and it's complicated! You'll probably remember last year's e-book price fixing scandal, in which Apple was found to be a guilty party. Five major publishers involved in the debate reached a federal court settlement, as a result of which you may be entitled to a modest payout. The settlement dictates that people may get a retrospective benefit from the deal. If you bought an e-book from one of the publishers between April 1st 2010 and May 21st 2012, you could be eligible for a $3.06 pay-out for each book you bought. But – and it's quite a big but -- there's an unexpected condition, it turns out that these amounts are only for books that appeared on the New York Times best seller list. Books that weren't in that list will only get a payment of 73 cents. The payback will apply to e-books purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple, and reach you in the form of a credit with whichever seller you bought them from. Furthermore, these sums are, still tentative. Macmillan and Penguin have approved the settlement, but still "need to finalize their stance." But it looks certain that, providing that you satisfy all the conditions, you'll get at least a few bucks back!

 

John Birch's latest post is a wonderful essay on that most quintessentially British food product, Marmite. Check it out at www.JohnBirchLive.blogspot.com.

 

RESPONSES FROM READERS

John Van Kirk writes that he just read the note at the bottom of the newsletter about where to buy books. He said, "I wondered if you were aware of Indiebound, a website that allows shoppers to locate and link to their nearest independent bookstore. It's a great way to support independent bookstores. And thank you for the link to Powell's via the union—great resource."

 

Thank you for the suggestion, John! Here's a link to Indiebound so readers may find their nearest local bookstores.

 

 

TO READ ONLINE

Interview with Belinda Anderson, author of Jackson Vs. Witchy Wanda: Making Kid Soup (See my review in Books for Readers Issue #167.
Check out Susan Rabin's page with information about her new book, The Summer Train!
How to Collaborate on Writing a book from Laura Treacy Bentley's blog: http://www.lauratreacybentley.com/apps/blog/entries/show/41980432-spotlight-jane-congdon
Just for fun: Joel Weinberger tweeted a site with world's worst book covers and titles: http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-book-titles-covers/
For do-it-yourselfers: A site about making good (and bad!) Book covers: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/designing-book-covers/
Bad news for British writers, from the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/02/bestseller-novel-to-bust-author-life .
Conversation with Jeanette Walls by Laura Treacy Bentley at WVLIVING
Dave Barry reviews 50 Shades of Grey: "Dave Barry Learns Everything You Need to Know about Being a Husband from 50 Shades of Grey"
 

 

SPECIAL FOR WRITERS

For writers: Book Marketing Toolkit: http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2013/11/book-marketing-author-publicity-toolkit.html .
Anyone writing a medical thriller? Here's a WRITERS DIGEST blog column on how to to it (a lot is pretty obvious).
 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS, NEWS, CONTESTS, WORKSHOPS, READINGS ETC.

If you're near Yellow Springs, Ohio-- Epic Bookshop is newly-reopened at 229 Xenia Avenue between the Senior Citizens Center and the Emporium/Underdog Cafe. Celebrate National Poetry Month on Sunday, April 27 at 2:30 p.m. for an afternoon of poetry at Epic with Julie L. Moore, Rita Coleman, and Ed Davis. More info at www.davised.com/2014/03/epic-poetry-in-april/
Coming in June: The North Wildwood Beach Writers' Conference (http://www.nwbwc.com/)
July workshop on turning your story into a play in Rhinebeck, NY with Rosary O'Neill.
Mobius, The Poetry Magazine for Sale: Juanita Torrence-Thompson, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher/Owner of internationally acclaimed Mobius, The Poetry Magazine, seeks poets, editors, colleges, or organizations interested in purchasing and publishing 32 year-old print magazine. Serious buyers only. Previous contributors include Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni, Marge Piercy, Robert Bly, Sonia Sanchez, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Simic, Cornelius Eady, Elizabeth Alexander, Colette Inez, Yusef Komunyakaa, Diane Wakoski, Samuel Menashe, Maurice Kenny, Simon Perchik, Lyn Lifshin, Duane Niatum, Joseph Bruchac, Ed Galing, Daniela Gioseffi, Louis Reyes Rivera, Hal Sirowitz, Stephen Stepanchev, Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan, Daniel Thomas Moran, A.D. Winans, etc. www.mobiuspoetry.com. For more information, email poetrytownjtt@gmail.com.

Now available as an e-book-- Valerie Nieman's Neena Gathering!

Now available: Queen Lear by Ellen Conley
William Luvaas's book has been called Book of the Year! Ashes Rain Down..
Rosary O'Neill has a new book: New Orleans Carnival Krewes The History, Spirit and Secrets of Mardi Gras .
Ross Ballard writes: "We're doing the Happy Dance around the studio here at MountainWhispers.com Audiobooks. (Thank God, cuz I just spend a fortune building a new studio. No really...near $300k) Our production of Lee Maynard's 'Screaming with the Cannibals' has grabbed a coveted Audie Nomination for Best Audio Drama from the Audio Publishers Association. (www.theaudies.com) I'm guessing with the first WV studio to be nominated for an Audie. Win, lose, or draw we'll be partying with a Hollywood 'A' list in NYC on May 29th. Some other nominees are Meryl Steep, Donald Sutherland, Billy Crystal, Neil Gaiman, they're all coming. etc. etc… woohoo…."  Congratulations Ross & Mountain Whispers!
The indefatigable folks at CROPPS keep on sending us places to submit! Get on their list for regular notices about open submissions at various literary journals and presses: CRWROPPS-B@yahoogroups.com
Rita Quillen's historical novel HIDING EZRA, inspired by a true story from the life of her husband’s grandfather and set in Scott County, VA, is just out from Little Creek Books.  Samples and information at www.ritasimsquillen.com. Order paperback or the Kindle version here:http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_11?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=hiding+ezra&sprefix=hiding+ezra%2Caps%2C359. Barnes & Noble here:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/hiding-ezra?keyword=hiding+ezra&store=book . Or, if you'd like to win a free copy, try Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/82380-hiding-ezra . Finally, if you "Like" Rita's Facebook author page at www.facebook.com/ritaquillenhidingezra , she'll be giving away 1 free book for every 100 LIKES the page gets.
If you are in Northern New Jersey, learn about regular, excellent, free programs and peer workshops, many at the Montclair Library and environs. To get the monthly announcements, send an e-mail request to Carl Selinger at selinger99@aol.com .
 

ABOUT AMAZON.COM
The largest unionized bookstore in America has a webstore at Powells Books. Some people prefer shopping online there to shopping at Amazon.com. An alternative way to reach Powell's site and support the union is via http://www.powellsunion.com. Prices are the same but 10% of your purchase will go to support the union benefit fund.
For a discussion of Amazon and organized labor and small presses, see the comments of Jonathan Greene and others in Issues #97 and #98 .

WHERE TO FIND BOOKS MENTIONED IN THIS NEWSLETTER

If a book discussed in this newsletter has no source mentioned, don’t forget that you may be able to borrow it from your public library as either a hard copy or a digital copy. You may also buy or order from your local independent bookstore. (To find a bricks-and-mortar store, click the "shop indie" logo left).
To buy books online, I often go first to Bookfinder or Alibris. Bookfinder gives the price with shipping and handling, so you can compare what you’re really going to have to pay.
A lot of people whose political instincts I respect prefer the unionized bricks-and-mortar bookstore Powells (see "About Amazon.com" above) that sells online at http://powellsbooks.com.  
Another source for used and out-of-print books is All Book Stores. Also consider Paperback Book Swap, a postage only way to trade books with other readers.

If you are using an electronic reader like Kindle, Nook, or Kobo, don't forget free books at the Gutenberg Project—mostly classics, but other things as well.
Kobobooks.com sells books for independent brick-and-mortar bookstores.

 

RESPONSES TO THIS NEWSLETTER

Please send responses to this newsletter and suggestions directly to Meredith Sue Willis . Unless you instruct otherwise, your responses may be edited for length and published in this newsletter.
 

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LICENSE

Creative Commons License Books for Readers Newsletter by Meredith Sue Willis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.meredithsuewillis.com. Some individual contributors may have other licenses.
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"I hereby release my Goodreads review under a Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License." -- Joel Weinberger

 

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BACK ISSUES:

#169 Pearl Buck's The Exile and Fighting Angel; Larissa Shmailo; Liz Lewinson; Twelve Years a Slave, and more
#168 Catherine the Great, Alice Munro, Edith Poor, Mitch Levenberg, Vonnegut, Mellville, and more!
#167 Belinda Anderson; Anne Shelby; Sean O'Leary, Dragon tetralogy; Don Delillo's Underworld
#166 Eddy Pendarvis on Pearl S. Buck; Theresa Basile; Miguel A. Ortiz; Lynda Schor; poems by Janet Lewis; Sarah Fielding
#165 Janet Lewis, Melville, Tosltoy, Irwin Shaw!
#164 Ed Davis on Julie Moore's poems; Edith Wharton; Elaine Drennon Little's A Southern Place; Elmore Leonard
#163 Pamela Erens, Michael Harris, Marlen Bodden, Joydeep Roy-Battacharya, Lisa J. Parker, and more
#162 Lincoln, Joseph Kennedy, Etel Adnan, Laura Treacy Bentley, Ron Rash, Sophie's Choice, and more
#161 More Wilkie Collins; Duff Brenna's Murdering the Mom; Nora Olsen's Swans & Klons; Lady Audley's Secret
#160 Carolina De Robertis, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Ross King's The Judgment of Paris
#159 Tom Jones. William Luvaas, Marc Harshman, The Good Earth, Lara Santoro, American Psycho
#158 Chinua Achebe's Man of the People; The Red and the Black; McCarthy's C.; Farm City; Victor Depta;Myra Shapiro
#157 Alice Boatwright, Reamy Jansen, Herta Muller, Knut Hamsun, What Maisie Knew; Wanchee Wang, Dolly Withrow.
#156 The Glass Madonna; A Revelation
#155 Buzz Bissinger; reader suggestions; Satchmo at the Waldorf
#154 Hannah Brown, Brad Abruzzi, Thomas Merton
#153 J.Anthony Lukas, Talmage Stanley's The Poco Fields, Devil Anse
#152 Marc Harshman guest editor; John Burroughs; Carol Hoenig
#151 Deborah Clearman, Steve Schrader, Paul Harding, Ken Follet, Saramago-- and more!
#150 Mitch Levenberg, Johnny Sundstrom, and Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns.
#149 David Weinberger's Too Big to Know; The Shining; The Tiger's Wife.
#148 The Moonstone, Djibouti, Mark Perry on the Grimké family
#147 Jane Lazarre's new novel; Johnny Sundstrom; Emotional Medicine Rx; Walter Dean Myers, etc. 
#146 Henry Adams AGAIN!  Also,Fun Home: a Tragicomic
#145 Henry Adams, Darnell Arnoult, Jaimy Gordon, Charlotte Brontë
#144 Carter Seaton, NancyKay Shapiro, Lady Murasaki Shikibu
#143 Little America; Guns,Germs, and Steel; The Trial
#142 Blog Fiction, Leah by Seymour Epstein, Wolf Hall, etc.
#141 Dreama Frisk on Hilary Spurling's Pearl Buck in China; Anita Desai; Cormac McCarthy
#140 Valerie Nieman's Blood Clay, Dolly Withrow
#139 My Kindle, The Prime Minister, Blood Meridian
#138 Special on Publicity by Carter Seaton
#137 Michael Harris's The Chieu Hoi Saloon; Game of Thrones; James Alexander Thom's Follow the River
#136 James Boyle's The Creative Commons; Paola Corso, Joanne Greenberg, Monique Raphel High, Amos Oz
#135 Reviews by Carole Rosenthal, Jeffrey Sokolow, and Wanchee Wang.
#134 Daniel Deronda, books with material on black and white relations in West Virginia
#133 Susan Carpenter, Irene Nemirovsky, Jonathan Safran Foer, Kanafani, Joe Sacco
#132 Karen Armstrong's A History of God; JCO's The Falls; The Eustace Diamonds again.
#131 The Help; J. McHenry Jones, Reamy Jansen, Jamie O'Neill, Michael Chabon.
#130
Lynda Schor, Ed Myers, Charles Bukowski, Terry Bisson, The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism
#129 Baltasar and Blimunda; Underground Railroad; Navasky's Naming Names, small press and indie books.
#128 Jeffrey Sokolow on Histories and memoirs of the Civil Rights Movement
#127 Olive Kitteridge; Urban fiction; Shelley Ettinger on Joyce Carol Oates
#126 Jack Hussey's Ghosts of Walden, The Leopard , Roger's Version, The Reluctanct Fundamentalist
#125 Lee Maynard's The Pale Light of Sunset; Books on John Brown suggested by Jeffrey Sokolow
#124 Cloudsplitter, Founding Brothers, Obenzinger on Bradley's Harlem Vs. Columbia University
#123 MSW's summer reading round-up; Olive Schreiner; more The Book Thief; more on the state of editing
#122 Left-wing cowboy poetry; Jewish partisans during WW2; responses to "Hire a Book Doctor?"
#121 Jane Lazarre's latest; Irving Howe's Leon Trotsky; Gringolandia; "Hire a Book Doctor?"
#120 Dreama Frisk on The Book Thief; Mark Rudd; Thulani Davis's summer reading list
#119 Two Histories of the Jews; small press books for Summer
#118 Kasuo Ichiguro, Jeanette Winterson, The Carter Family!
#117 Cat Pleska on Ann Pancake; Phyllis Moore on Jayne Anne Phillips; and Dolly Withrow on publicity
#116 Ann Pancake, American Psycho, Marc Harshman on George Mackay Brown
#115 Adam Bede, Nietzsche, Johnny Sundstrom
#114 Judith Moffett, high fantasy, Jared Diamond, Lily Tuck
#113 Espionage--nonfiction and fiction: Orson Scott Card and homophobia
#112 Marc Kaminsky, Nel Noddings, Orson Scott Card, Ed Myers
#111 James Michener, Mary Lee Settle, Ardian Gill, BIll Higginson, Jeremy Osner, Carol Brodtick
#110  Nahid Rachlin, Marion Cuba on self-publishing; Thulani Davis, The Road, memoirs
#109 Books about the late nineteen-sixties: Busy Dying; Flying Close to the Sun; Looking Good; Trespassers
#108 The Animal Within; The Ground Under My Feet; King of Swords
#107 The Absentee; Gorky Park; Little Scarlet; Howl; Health Proxy
#106 Castle Rackrent; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; More on Drown; Blindness & more
#105 Everything is Miscellaneous, The Untouchable, Kettle Bottom by Diane Gilliam Fisher
#104 Responses to Shelley on Junot Diaz and more; More best books of 2007
#103 Guest Editor: Shelley Ettinger and her best books of 2007
#102 Saramago's BLINDNESS; more on NEVER LET ME GO; George Lies on Joe Gatski
#101 My Brilliant Career, The Scarlet Letter, John Banville, Never Let Me Go
#100 The Poisonwood Bible, Pamela Erens, More Harry P.
#99   Jonathan Greene on Amazon.com; Molly Gilman on Dogs of Babel
#98   Guest editor Pat Arnow; more on the Amazon.com debate
#97   Using Thomas Hardy; Why I Write; more
#96   Lucy Calkins, issue fiction for young adults
#95   Collapse, Harry Potter, Steve Geng
#94   Alice Robinson-Gilman, Maynard on Momaday
#93   Kristin Lavransdatter, House Made of Dawn, Leaving Atlanta
#92   Death of Ivan Ilych; Memoirs
#91   Richard Powers discussion
#90   William Zinsser, Memoir, Shakespeare
#89   William Styron, Ellen Willis, Dune, Germinal, and much more
#88   Sandra Cisneros's Caramelo
#87   Wings of the Dove, Forever After (9/11 Teachers)
#86   Leora Skolkin-Smith, American Pastoral, and more
#85   Wobblies, Winterson, West Virginia Encyclopedia
#84   Karen Armstrong, Geraldine Brooks, Peter Taylor
#83   3-Cornered World, Da Vinci Code
#82   The Eustace Diamonds, Strapless, Empire Falls
#81   Philip Roth's The Plot Against America , Paola Corso
#80   Joanne Greenberg, Ed Davis, more Murdoch; Special Discussion on Memoir--Frey and J.T. Leroy
#79   Adam Sexton, Iris Murdoch, Hemingway
#78   The Hills at Home; Tess of the D'Urbervilles; Jean Stafford
#77   On children's books--guest editor Carol Brodtrick
#76   Mary Lee Settle, Mary McCarthy
#75   The Makioka Sisters
#74    In Our Hearts We Were Giants
#73    Joyce Dyer
#72    Bill Robinson WWII story
#71    Eva Kollisch on G.W. Sebald
#70    On Reading
#69    Nella Larsen, Romola
#68    P.D. James
#67    The Medici
#66    Curious Incident,Temple Grandin
#65
   Ingrid Hughes on Memoir
#64
    Boyle, Worlds of Fiction
#63    The Namesame
#62    Honorary Consul; The Idiot
#61    Lauren's Line
#60    Prince of Providence
#59    The Mutual Friend, Red Water
#58    AkÉ,
Season of Delight
#57    Screaming with Cannibals

#56    Benita Eisler's Byron
#55    Addie, Hottentot Venus, Ake
#54    Scott Oglesby, Jane Rule
#53    Nafisi,Chesnutt, LeGuin
#52    Keith Maillard, Lee Maynard
#51    Gregory Michie, Carter Seaton
#50    Atonement, Victoria Woodhull biography
#49    
Caucasia
#48    
Richard Price, Phillip Pullman
#47    Mid- East Islamic World Reader
#46    Invitation to a Beheading
#45    The Princess of Cleves
#44    Shelley Ettinger: A Few Not-so-Great Books
#43    Woolf, The Terrorist Next Door
#42    John Sanford
#41    Isabelle Allende
#40    Ed Myers on John Williams
#39    Faulkner
#38    Steven Bloom No New Jokes
#37    James Webb's Fields of Fire
#36    Middlemarch
#35    Conrad, Furbee, Silas House
#34    Emshwiller
#33    Pullman, Daughter of the Elm
#32    More Lesbian lit; Nostromo
#31    Lesbian fiction
#30    Carol Shields, Colson Whitehead
#29    More William Styron
#28    William Styron
#27    Daniel Gioseffi
#26    Phyllis Moore
#25
   On Libraries....
#24    Tales of the City
#23
   Nonfiction, poetry, and fiction
#22    More on Why This Newsletter
#21    Salinger, Sarah Waters, Next of Kin
#20    Jane Lazarre
#19    Artemisia Gentileschi
#18    Ozick, Coetzee, Joanna Torrey
#17    Arthur Kinoy
#16    Mrs. Gaskell and lots of other suggestions
#15    George Dennison, Pat Barker, George Eliot
#14    Small Presses
#13    Gap Creek, Crum
#12    Reading after 9-11
#11    Political Novels
#10    Summer Reading ideas
#9      Shelley Ettinger picks
#8      Harriette Arnow's Hunter's Horn
#7      About this newsletter
#6      Maria Edgeworth
#5      Tales of Good and Evil; Moon Tiger
#4      Homer Hickam and The Chosen
#3      J.T. LeRoy and Tale of Genji
#2      Chick Lit
#1      About this newsletter

 
 
 
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