Sunday, December 15, 2013

Meredith Sue Willis's

Books for Readers # 166

December 16, 2013

Latest changes and corrections online        MSW Home

In this Issue:

Guest Editor Eddy Pendarvis on a Rediscovered Book by Pearl Buck ;

A Word from the Sponsor;  A New Novel from Miguel A. Ortiz

Lynda Schor's Sexual Harrassment Rules;  Theresa Basile's Fanged;  

More on Moby Dick;  Poems by Janet Lewis;  The E-Reader Report with John Birch;

Things to Read Online;  Announcements;   Backchannel on Doris Lessing's Death

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  • For teens or anyone who likes science fiction and fantasy, consider The City Built of Starships.
  • Fiction with an Appalachian background includes A Space Apart, Higher Ground, and Out of the Mountains.
  • Family-focused literary fiction includes A Space Apart and Dwight's House and Other Stories.
  • The Blair Morgan Trilogy, Higher Ground, Only Great Changes, and Trespassers, is a story of growing up in the nineteen sixties from a West Virginia girl from small town to community organizing to radical political activism.


I'm reading several Pearl Buck books in preparation for a mid-2014 presentation. Buck, although few know it, was born in West Virginia, although taken to China as an infant. She spent much of her life in China, and her most famous books is no doubt The Good Earth, which I'm very fond of. I also enjoyed Buck's memoir My Separate Worlds. She also, however, wrote a tremendous number of pot boilers. Below is a review of one of her rediscovered novels by guest editor Eddy Pendarvis.

                                                                        -- MSW




The manuscript for this novel was found in a storage bin in Fort Worth, Texas; and as a Pearl buck fan, I wish it had stayed there. To me, this posthumously published book fails artistically. It's a coming-of-age story in which the hero never really comes of age.
Rann is a gifted child—he can count objects by the time he's two years old and read by the time he's three. He's happy to please his mother and his father, who laugh and clap their hands over his accomplishments. When he starts school, the thirst for knowledge, so applauded by his parents, sets him apart from the other children. Rann finds school a lonely and boring place, and his concerned father, who's an English professor, starts a special class on the college campus for Rann and some other gifted children. By the time Rann's twelve years old, he's able to pass the college entrance exam.
So far, so good. Rann is likeable enough as a toddler and child. It's when his dad dies of cancer that I start to lose sympathy for him. At his father's death, the boy asks himself, "Who will tell me the truth about everything or where to go to get the truth? Who will help me to know what I am and what I ought to be?" He considers himself to have "outgrown" his mother. In fairness to him, I have to admit that she does fill him mostly with food, personal advice, and anecdotes about family. He and his mother reflect the sexism that Buck despised. Not from this narrative, however, would readers know Buck found anything wrong with the gender stereotypes played out by Rann's family; their roles are presented as natural and harmonious. Rann's absorption "in the problem of himself and what direction he should give himself" becomes more and more prevalent as the story develops. He's like one of those bright, overly indulged, self-involved teenage boys who today would be misdiagnosed as having Asperger's syndrome. Rann's stilted manner of speech, which contributes to his sounding precocious as a young child, makes him seem disconnected and priggish as a teenager and adult.
Enrolled in college at thirteen, he makes only one friend, a psychology professor, a man from whom he hopes to learn a great deal; but their relationship leaves Rann upset and worried about his own sexuality. A less abrupt end comes to his relationship with a lovely widow, who helps him resolve his fears about his sexuality. The professor and the widow are presented as caring about Rann, but their actions are predatory, given his youth. Rann finds more suitable mentors, first his grandfather, and then a young Chinese-American woman and her Chinese father; but these relationships are short-lived as well. During military service in Korea, Rann writes a novel, set in that country. The novel earns him literary success in the United States, and shortly after his return to New York, he is at last able to answer the question of what he should be—a writer and philanthropist.
Unfortunately, absorbed as he has been in "the eternal question: what should he be," he seems to care more about dedicating himself to something important than he cares about people. Though the other characters in the book describe Randolph Colfax as singular in intelligence, imagination, and creativity, nothing Rann thinks seems singular in anything except in insularity from others and vague sense of superiority over them.
Buck's genius shows in a few elements of this story. One of the more poetic devices is her imagery of snow at important junctures. Since Rann himself seems almost frozen emotionally, when snow falls, there's a sense of release in his or another character's feelings. The first half of the story, about Rann's childhood and early teens, is interestingly structured to match the theme of Rann's quest for knowledge. He, like the main character in a children's story, goes from one person to another asking the same question and getting an unsatisfactory answer (think of Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, or the baby bird, in Are you My Mother?). Too, for some readers, the autobiographical elements in the story will be fun to spot. In addition to obvious parallels between Rann's and Pearl Buck's careers are many small touches, such as a statuette of Quan Yin, goddess of mercy, one of Buck's favorite religious figures; "Mr. Kung," probably named after Buck's tutor; and an heirloom clock from the Netherlands, reminiscent of the clock built by Buck's Dutch grandfather. For most readers, though, I recommend picking up almost any of her other novels— including her only other posthumously published novel, The Rainbow—instead of this one.


SHORT TAKES (by MSW unless otherwise noted)

The Sins of the Parents Miguel Antonio Ortiz

This moving novel is the portrait of two main relationships and many peripheral ones. It is about people in a moment of flux: moving from the country into town, moving from the land to hired work, moving from Puerto Rico to New York's Bronx and the Barrio.
The characters are all thoughtful people, and one of the delights of the book is following their consciousnesses as they consider their problems, often coming to the brick wall of what they see as fate or what has to be. For the women, this including the sexual wanderings of men.
One of the men, Juan, is particularly interesting and sad. He sets his sights on one beautiful woman, Ramona, and waits for her and courts her for five years, and finally marries her. Unlike all his brothers, he does not have affairs. He and Ramona have children, they move to New York.  He takes classes and reads books, but his financial stability is undercut by his desire for material goods like beautiful furniture, a refrigerator, a car. Ramona, his wife, worries about money and becomes estranged from him. At this point Juan at last fulfills the destiny of the men of his family. He has another woman, and she conceives a child.
The ending moves the spotlight to Ramona and what she does when she finds out, which is at once yielding to fate and at the same time taking action in a way that is perfectly individual and wholly loving and graceful. What I probably love best, next to this quiet, satisfying ending, is the deep intelligence of people who examine their lives in a way that is in some ways unfamiliar to me yet resonates deeply.

Whether you are into vampires or not, I predict you will enjoy Theresa Basile's Fanged . This novel has real human emotion as well as dark humor and lots of action. The story follows a group of teenagers, especially Sean the sixteen-year-old vampire. Sean just wants to finish high school, but blending in isn't easy: two vampires in his group can't stand him, he's barely passing math, and Becky, the pretty cheerleader, smells a little too good to him.
Still, with the help of his best friend Hannah, the group leader, he manages to fly under the radar and keep out of trouble-- until the junior class president is found dead under mysterious circumstances. Then the truce among Sean and his fellow vampires falls apart, and each person reveals a secret that could threaten their lives. Meanwhile, Sean tries to control his hunger. Will he be able to turn over a new leaf, or will the temptation for Becky's blood be too strong to overcome?

The Governess by Sarah Fielding

Yes, it's Henry "Tom Jones" Fielding's younger sister, and this weirdly entertaining little 18th century book (available free from the Gutenberg Project in most digital formats) is probably the first book written directly for children-- for girls, in fact. It is about a group of delightfully jealous and squabbly students in a school where the main course of study is an ideology of love and unselfishness.
The girls prove to learn best through story telling. The oldest student, rather than the official teacher, gathers the girls around and tells entertaining, didactic tales of giants or the summaries of the plots of dramas.
The book is tendentious to a fault, of course, but while the official objective is to create little angels-of-the-house, the writer recognizes and delineates the essentially ambitious and envious nature of the various girls. One hates it that her brother gets all the privileges; one just frankly wants all the pretty things to wear and good things to eat.
Take a look at it, and forget the message and enjoy the fun of learning the eighteenth century ideal of girlish behavior: Always ask your elders first. Be loving! And if you can't be loving, at least pretend to be NICE.


Sexual Harassment Rules by Lynda Schor

Another excellent collection of stories from Lynda Schor– funny, but also a serious look at how people use and abuse sex.  What remains for me, when the book is finished (and it goes so fast!), is a wry sense of how absolutely hilarious human beings are, especially when they're trying to have sex. Some of the stories are typical Lynda Schor forays into the happily bizarre, and others are more or less realistic-- like the story of a sort of relationship between a young art student at Cooper Union and her professor ("The Highest Grader of All"). There's a nice foray into a young student's fantasies about what he'd really like to do to his female writing teacher ("Teacher Evaluation.")  Teaching takes a hard hit throughout the book, including "Poet in the Schools," often playing off the passion, not always suppressed, between the mentor and the mentee.
Some of the stories are highly experimental, with short sections, most of which are images rather than paragraphs. Nothing is hard to get, though, and two of my favorite pieces are selections from a faux blog called Writing Advice Blog. In "Sentence Wrangling," the fictional blogger describes how her sentences have been criticized, and she tries to improve them, but gradually loses control of the little critters, and they eventually form a concatenation and loop around and knock her out of her chair.
There are plenty of orgies and explorations of what is and isn't harassment and what is actually titillating and what's not. There is never a dull moment, but neither are the stories ever less than a serious examination of how we yearn for love and have sex-- and fail to be satisfied.



JANE LAZARRE writes, in response to "the reader who spoke of MOBY DICK being boring, who  wondered if there were metaphors somewhere inside this classic American novel (see issue # 165)....To this reader and any other interested in the novel, I recommend highly reading a long, brilliant essay by Toni Morrision called 'Unspeakable Things Unspoken,' in which she theorizes densely and deeply convincingly about the making of the literary canon and how race, and the absence of race, fits into forming and sustaining it.
"Then she launches into an incredible analysis of MOBY DICK, providing us with Melville's intimate connections to race in America at the time, as almost everyone was. It was like our following of the congressional budget/policy fights today, only more so, even though there was of course only print to follow. Slavery was at its height, the Fugitive Slave Laws (now being introduced to wide audiences, in all their cruelty, through the much admired movie, Twelve Years a Slave,) were in effect, and Melville's own father-in-law was a judge who had upheld the law. This law furthered the ideas of white supremacy to the point of saying there could be no escape from slavery, as there had been before, as Blacks were property by nature and law for lifetimes and over generations.
"Melville himself was anti-slavery. The famous chapter called 'the whiteness of the whale' is, in Morrison's compelling argument, interpreted as a dissertation not on the evils of whiteness as a skin color of all people who were not Black, but as an ideology, an ideology of white supremicy that was used to preserve the slave system and its evils, and is still very much with us today in various forms. There are many other details of her interpretation that are fascinating, beginning of course with the first line and the use of the name Ishmael -- but I hope readers will consult her directly in this classic and important piece of American literary criticism. It is illuminating to anyone interested in understanding our literary history, indeed any American interested in the realities of American history."

Read the Morrison essay online here.
(Image above is of a wood cut by Rockwell Kent)

MARC HARSHMAN, Poet Laureate of West Virginia, writes: "I've always been a big fan of Janet Lewis as a poet though have never, ashamedly, read the novels (review of her trilogy of novels is in Issue # 165). Regrettably, she's been neglected as both poet and novelist in recent years; at least, that's my take. So it's great news to see Ohio University's Swallow Press re-issuing these. Here's one of her short poems."

Melissa's Garden

Rose, and rose-of-Sharon,
Crimson, and shadowy mauve;
Entangled foliage of varying patterns;
Trumpet vine. Gabriel himself
Could not have blown
A more resplendent horn,
Of earthly orange flawed with gold!
That one small garden
Should yield such treasure,
Thanks be to God, at noon, at dawn.

                                          -- Janet Lewis

Thank you Marc!    And here's another Lewis poem I found:


I have lived so long
On the cold hills alone ...
I loved the rock
And the lean pine trees,
Hated the life in the turfy meadow,
Hated the heavy, sensuous bees.
I have lived so long
Under the high monotony of starry skies,
I am so cased about
With the clean wind and the cold nights,
People will not let me in
To their warm gardens
Full of bees.

If you've got a Kindle, and are one of those people who like to be the first to read a newly-published book or see a movie before everyone else, here's an interesting offer. Every month, Amazon will offer you, for free, a choice of one title from a list of four books before their official publication date. The book will be yours to keep and read on any version of Kindle, from the clunky early models to the streamlined Paperwhite and the latest Kindle Fire. The first selection is a mainstream novel, a romance, a mystery and an inspirational story.

See: -- a growing collection of nearly 30 short stories, articles and essays.


Doris Lessing died on November 17.   Backchannel writes to remind us that there is an obituary, with some discussion of her work at The Guardian.  "She was in the political thick of it. Her writing is unusual; the way it fuses the personal with the political. One of the very few authors who wrote literary fiction as well as sci-fi...."
Backchannel also mentions a follow-up appreciation of Lessing by Margaret Atwood that mentions the trick Lessing played on the publishing world by submitting a manuscript under a false name to prove the point that unknown writers are treated unequally. Atwood says, 'Her celebrated experiment with a pseudonym as a demonstration of the hurdles facing unknown writers being just one example. (Her "Jane Somers" novels were reviewed as pale imitations of Doris Lessing, which must have been a little daunting for her.)'
"Can you imagine," says Backchannel, "how weird it'd be when critics say your novel published under a false name is but a pale imitation of the lauded work you've published under your real name? And I'd be so embarrassed if I'd been one of those reviewers."



I got this link from a writer's facebook page, and it's an interesting list indeed: .


It includes Moby Dick and some others that are longer rather than harder, but fun to think about anyhow:



Coming in 2014: For the Living Dead: New and Selected Poems by Eric Greinke has just been published by Presa Press in Rockford, MI. (


Thanks to Dreama Frisk for this interesting piece about living in a new language.

A writer explains why she is choosing self-publishing over a contract with a big 5 publisher, with financials to explain her decision!

Ann Pancake has an excellent article about writing a political novel in the Georgia Review online at .

The Complete Review: A Literary Saloon Site of Review



A new magazine on global women's issues,  VALERIE, is a digital effort by two Columbia j-school alumnae. It launched November 1, 2013.  Read an article about it here. They are looking for appropriate non-fiction, memoir or travel writing. Write to .

Victor Depta's new book The poetry in Poems: What Love Is can best be described as performance pieces--Appalachian folk voices which an audience can respond to the humor of--then formal poems--often ballad-like, and rhymed and unrhymed shorter pieces, which are subtler and more subjective in tone. The subject is love in its many guises: romantic, filial, parental, intellectual and mystical. The need for love, and its often unrequited consequences, is the subject of Poems: What Love Is.

Deborah Clearman's short story "Bomb Test" in the NY Writers Coalition's anthology of poetry and prose WHAT IF WRITING IS DREAMING TOGETHER?

Crystal Wilkinson has a new short story available as a Kindle digital single, "Holler." It begins, "Turn left where Otha’s one-room store used to be and the poplars get thicker, drive past Mt. Zion Baptist Church and across the concrete bridge and on up the holler. You’ll be able to see Green River if you stretch your neck but don’t expect something out of a picture book. It’s brown, plumb full of mosquitoes, water moccasins galore. Go to the end of the road and on up the hill a little and this is Mission Creek--this is where we live. You might not expect to find black people in the mountains, not many of us left, but we’re here. Keep going until the road levels out a bit and the gravel gets more scarce and turns to dirt, go around the bend and soon you’ll see the graying heads of black men nodding as you pass, black children playing Red Rover, black women hanging sheets on the lines. "
Phyllis Moore called our attention to a book by newspaperman John Douglas called A Fog of Ghosts.

Learn about the latest Barbara Crooker poems:
Don't forget to get on this list for regular notices about open submissions at various literary journals and presses:

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 .

The largest unionized bookstore in America has a webstore at Powells Books. Some people prefer shopping online there to shopping at An alternative way to reach Powell's site and support the union is via 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 .


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 buy books online, I often go first to Bookfinder or Alibris. Bookfinder tells you the book 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" above) that sells online at  
Another source for used and out-of-print books is All Book Stores. Also consider Paperback Book Swap, a low cost (postage only) way to get rid of your old books and get new ones by trading 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. sells books for independent brick-and-mortar bookstores.


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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#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.
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; Molly Gilman on Dogs of Babel
#98   Guest editor Pat Arnow; more on the 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
   Ingrid Hughes on Memoir
    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
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
   On Libraries....
#24    Tales of the City
   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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