A correspondent of Lee Maynard's, Christine Willis, writes to share Lee's response to her question about whether he had been raised in the Baptist Church. He said, "Baptist, yes. Southern, hard-shell. Narrow minded. Wild-eyed. Terrified of an angry God. (And those were the more liberal ones.) Raised? Hmmm, I can't really call it being 'raised.' More like -- kicking, screaming, pounding on the floor . . . (you get the point). I come from an entire family of church-goers, all except me. Have done a lot of probing and in the process have looked at a lot of religions, but not one of them seemed to be looking back."
Meredith Sue Willis's Books for Readers # 191
In This Issue of Books for Readers:
(If there's no byline to a review or comment , it's by MSW)
First, I'm proud to have a section of my upcoming novel in this anthology:
Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South
In turbulent times, what we need is possibility, and in this rich gathering of diverse voices, Editors Julia Watts and Larry Smith give us just that. A girl molds clay against her deaf brother?s ears to heal him. A gay man finds his Appalachian clan in a dark world. These are stories and essays about the blues, about poverty, about families lost and made. Unbroken Circle is about broken and unbroken lives, and ultimately, hope. To purchase, try the usual online suspects or Bottom Dog Press directly. For more information about this book, contact: Larry Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 419-602-1556, fax: 419-616-3966, or go online to http://smithdocs.net.
Depta calls these poem/meditations "paragraphs," and they sit solid and quadrilinear in the center of their white space--insights and explorations, speculating about samsara and nirvana and phenomena and noumena. They always come back to, and often start from, plants-- joepyeweed is a favorite -- or the weather. Depta is taking on a project similar to Emily Dickinson's fresh eyes attempting and sometimes succeeding in penetrating the meaning of existence. He mentions her once, in poem #63, and like Dickinson uses precision of natural observation to enter into a dialog with philosophy and religion (Buddhism, mostly, for Depta).
He has passages of refined humor as in "Dillweed," #58, which questions how one knows that another is truly enlightened: "Behavior is not a sign of enlightenment...And isn't there something suspect about an experience which is inexpressible? The same ineffability could be said about the odor of dill weed in my garden, pungent even in the street."
"The Praying Mantis," #61, is a relatively long piece that takes us through hot weather and a little bit of childhood, then the work of biologist and critic of religion, Richard Dawkins, then goes on to offer complex ideas about the soul, ending back at the praying mantis. Some of the pieces are short and surprising, others like the one just described, longer and more complex, but there is always a rhythm that eventually becomes musical, as if the poetic beat were not in syllables but in the whole of these "paragraphs,"
The final piece, "The Corn and Soybeans," has as the final words of the entire work, the statement "samsara and nirvana are one," which is at the heart of Depta's book.
Concepcion and the Baby Brokers by Deborah Clearman
In Issue #190, Ed Davis reviewed Deborah Clearman's Concepcion and the Baby Brokers. Now I have had the pleasure of reading it for myself. These linked stories, set in the town of Todos Santos like her novel Todos Santos built a careful and enticing world. The voices are totally convincing, and I especially enjoyed how affairs and pregnancies and lovers out of marriage have a generally positive, or at least neutral, effect on the community. In several cases, decisions are made to accept someone else's child as your own, or to marry someone you didn't think was the one you loved. In general, the bonds of the community are thereby tightened rather than destroyed.
I was also intrigued by the local class system with the "Mayans" and the "Ladinos" as well as the norteamericanos . One story takes place completely in the States, and that one, "The English Lesson," is very funny in its outsider's take on the language, plus what makes the student begin to get serious about studying it, plus-- again-- sex as a constructive, friendly act.
For a sample story, try "The Flor" in Green Hills Literary Lantern.
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
This is my first Highsmith novel (although of course I've seen some of the famous movies of her books, including Hitchcock's version of her Strangers on a Train). The Price of Salt is in many ways like a pulp Lesbian novel of the nineteen fifties, only raised to art. It is about a secret love affair and it has (spoiler alert!) a happy ending. It was a best seller, published under the pseudonym "Claire Morgan" and republished 38 years later as Carol under Highsmith's own name. It came out as a movie starring Cate Blanchett in 2015.
The focus is on twenty-one year old Therese who is somewhat depressive, vaguely engaged to a man (but not a fan of sexual intercourse), and apparently a talented set designer. Looking for something-- a job, an understanding of why she doesn't love her lover– she takes a short term position at a department store like Bloomingdale's and has a love-at-first-sight experience with a beautiful, affluent matron, Carol. Therese make the first move by writing Carol a letter.
Carol clearly is attracted, but treats Therese semi-maternally when she invites her to stay over at her suburban New Jersey house. Carol has a mink, a maid, a best friend from earliest childhood, and a beloved daughter who is presently with her husband. They are in the process of divorcing, and this becomes important to the plot--whether Carol will get to keep the child or not.
Therese and Carol go on a long cross country drive, stopping at all sorts of upper Midwestern cities, where they drink and smoke and eventually begin a steamy physical relationship. The novel has a lovely noir quality that makes this kind of life feel glamorous, although I think I like even better the New York City-in-the-fifties parts. There is some melodrama at the end, but the struggle to take a child from her mother because of the mother's sexual orientation was very real. There is some ugly blackmailing of Carol to separate the daughter from her, and all heavy homophobia of the period. It's a dark narrow world, but gripping and convincing.
Dan Gover writes: "I just finished a great book--Minor Characters by Joyce Johnson. Best book about New York in the 1950s I've read in donkey's years: a free young woman coming out of a silent generation glomming on to the new Beat energy. After a middle class background and college on the Upper West Side, Joyce had a relationship with Jack Kerouac and hung out in the Village with the young writers, artists and low-lifes of the era. She walked the tightrope between love, wasted and survival. Jack called her Joycey; she was 21, he was 34; Allen, Memere, Lu Carr, Elise C, Hiram Haydn: the all there. Very gutsy stuff: absolute authenticity. Read it"
Phyllis Moore writes about Marc Harshman's new collection Believe What You Can: " I considered writing a review for this 88 paged collection and then discarded the idea, so to speak. My reason being that this review by MSW says all anyone need to know about this astonishing collection. It is an insightful review and an intriguing collection. The ability of this poet came as no surprise, he is the current poet laureate of West Virginia. What did surprise was the off-beat humor tucked in so many of the poems. The poems I enjoyed or pondered most: 'Postcard;' 'Aunt Helen;' 'Evidence;' 'Where No One Else Can Go;' 'Pink Ladies;' 'Vehicular;' 'It Was Told;' 'Jackson Pollock and the Starlings, Moundsville, West Virginia.'"
...is now available and receiving excellent reviews. Reviewers say things like "An engaging twist on a classic opera, lush with drama and romance in a contemporary setting" (Kirkus Review ); "A superb rendition of the classic adage that life imitates art (and vice versa); "If you would like to read a novel about a different kind of artistic world, full of the challenges that come to people when they chase their dreams, The Other La Bohème is second to none;" "Yorker Keith writes beautifully and those who love music, especially fans of La Bohème, will be smitten by this story as well as those who just enjoy the opera. ... The writing is elegant, flowing like music, and polished. The plot is well-paced and the conflict developed around the career and the love experiences of the characters helps to give the entire story a strong dynamic."
I have long been fascinated by the ugly, prognathous faces of the Hapsburgs that appear in so much 16th and 17th century art. This long, detailed history helped clarify their place in European history for me. First, I was surprised to find out that they are were descendents of los reyes catolicos, Ferdinand and Isabella, who Americans tend to associate only with Christopher Columbus. In fact, Columbus and his "discovery" were not by any means the most important thing to happen in 1492 in the eyes of people living then. Isabella and Ferdinand were much more interested in their struggle with the Muslims in southern Spain, and, of course, in how to combine their separate kingdoms into one.
The book probably has more information that you want or need, but I kept coming back to it. It begins withlos reyes catolicos then their children and their son-in-law Charles V (the Holy Roman emperor). Much time is spent on the long reign of Phillip II (their grandson). He is the one who married Mary I of England and later launched the Spanish armada against Elizabeth I. This was the imperial high point of silver deliveries from the Americas and vast Spanish holdings. The dynasty ends at the beginning of the 18th century with Charles II, pathetic, possibly retarded, physically deformed, and owner of the most extreme "Hapsburg jaw" of all.
It's all about the rulers and pretenders and how they succeeded or failed. Pretty depressing, but I think I now know some of the players, even if I'll have to look back at the scorecard periodically.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
I've been so enjoying the wonderful writing of the late great Octavia Butler, but she is so good that she makes me impatient with the writing in other science fiction novels. This one took me a while to start enjoying, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. It seemed at first to have too many characters whose voices seemed too similar, but this turned out to be a trick with time. Stop reading if you don't want a spoiler. The various point of views turn out to belong to the same woman at different stages of her life. Nicely done--a surprise every time it happened, with some confusion of the type that makes you alert and interested and never gets in the way of story. I knew we were in different time periods, and I trusted it was all going to come together in some way.
Jemisin's world includes a race of stone people who move through the earth and human people who can take power out of the earth. There are repeated civilization-destroying catastrophes, sometimes natural, sometimes human caused. It is at moments reminiscent of being in Cormac McCarthy's The Road and in others like Harry Potter's Hogwarts.
And more books to come! Glad to have them to look forward to.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories by Nathan Englander
This was my first reading of Englander's work, and they are largely terrific stories-- just a handful of them, but deep and oh so carefully wrought. The title story is an honoring/imitating of Ray Carver in style and voice, but with an American Jewish couple and an Israeli couple facing off. It has a lot to say, amusingly and scathingly, about modern Jewish life. The last story, "Free Fruit for Young Widows," is probably the most ambitious and best, about Holocaust survivors and what it means to have empathy.
Note to teachers: Most of the stories are online and available for students and study.
Sacks' memoir is to some extent a history of his writing life. He presents himself as more of a writer and humanist than a scientist-- a generalist who loves science and also loves helping people, and who follows his intellectual bliss.
It was a life full of friendships and relationships, but also interwoven with the deep sadness of many decades without sexual intimacy. He fell in love around the age of 76, then died of cancer five or six years later.
One of the oddest things to me was that Sacks says he was always "face blind," meaning he didn't recognized faces, but rather voices. He doesn't explore this in this memoir, but I wonder if that (isn't it a neurological deficit too?) might not be another connection between him and his various quirky-brained patients.
A solid and fascinating book, and now I want to read all of his work that I haven't yet.
Here's something very exciting: Phyllis Moore has created a list of Coming of Age and Young Adult novels and memoirs set in, or written by, Appalachian Authors, with a strong focus on writers from West Virginia. Take a look: something different for your own reading or for students or young friends.
Jim Minick: writes: "Fire Is Your Water, my debut novel, has arrived in the world, AND it just received a starred review from Library Journal, which called it 'an outstanding first novel full of appealing characters and an inventive plot based on true events. This belongs at the top of every spring reading list.'"
If you want to catch Jim live, here are a few dates for summer 2017:
July 1 Midtown Scholar Bookstore, Harrisburg 1:00"Taking Out Fire: PA Dutch Folk Healing and Fire Is Your Water"
July 9-14 Radford U Highland Summer Conf Workshop July 11 RU's Highland Summer Conference Evening Reading 7:00
July 13, 7:00 July 28 Writer's Day, Abingdon, VA Highland's Fest. Workshops July 28 Writer's Day Reading, Heartwood, Abingdon, VA Reading 7:00
Aug 26 Reading, Avid Bookshop, Five Points Store, Athens, GA, 6:30
Aug 27 Reading, Southern Lit Alliance, Chattanooga, TN, 2:00
Sept.23 Berry Fleming Lit Fest, Augusta, GA
Oct 5 5-8, Midtown Market, Augusta, Signing w/ wine and food.
Oct 13-15 Southern Festival of Book
Nov 20 Grayson LandCare/Blue Ridge Nature Center, Independence, VA 7:00
Writings in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 presidential election: Howl, 2016! Poems, Rants, and Essays on the Election, edited by Trish MacEnulty (Prism Light Press). Especially check out the piece by Carole Rosenthal--a strange and compelling story of being lost.
Suzanne McConnell's story "Neighbors" is going to be translated into Chinese and published in a Chinese literary magazine! Thanks to New Ohio Review's prize and publication and the internet! And thanks to Ping Xu, Associate Prof. of Modern Languages at Baruch College for choosing it and doing the work of translating.
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.
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 use Bookfinder or Alibris. Bookfinder gives the price with shipping and handling, so you can compare what you’re really going to have to pay.
Still another place to buy books: Ingrid Hughes suggests "a great place for used books which sometimes turn out to be never-opened hard cover books is Biblio. I've bought many books from them, often for $4 including shipping."
If you are using an electronic reader (all kinds), don't forget free books at the Gutenberg Project—mostly classics, and free, free, free!
Kobobooks.com sells e-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.
#191 Oliver Sacks, N.K. Jemisin, Isabella and Ferdinand and their descendents, Depta, Highsmith, and more. #190 Clearman, Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods, Doerr, Octavia Butler, Colson Whitehead, Miss Fourth of July, Goodbye and more. #189 J.D. Vance; Mitch Levenberg; Phillip Lopate; Barchester Towers;Judith Hoover; ; Les Liaisons Dangereuses; short science fiction reviews. #188 Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban; The Hemingses of Monticello; Marc Harshman; Jews in the Civil War; Ken Champion; Rebecca West; Colum McCann #187 Randi Ward, Burt Kimmelman, Llewellyn McKernan, Sir Walter Scott, Jonathan Lethem, Bill Luvaas, Phyllis Moore, Sarah Cordingley & more #186 Diane Simmons, Walter Dean Myers, Johnny Sundstrom, Octavia Butler & more #185 Monique Raphel High; Elizabeth Jane Howard; Phil Klay; Crystal Wilkinson #184 More on Amazon; Laura Tillman; Anthony Trollope; Marily Yalom and the women of the French Revolution; Ernest Becker #183 Hilton Obenzinger, Donna Meredith, Howard Sturgis, Tom Rob Smith, Daniel José Older, Elizabethe Vigée-Lebrun, Veronica Sicoe #182 Troy E. Hill, Mitchell Jackson, Rita Sims Quillen, Marie Houzelle, Frederick Busch, more Dickens #181 Valerie Nieman, Yorker Keith, Eliot Parker, Ken Champion, F.R. Leavis, Charles Dickens #180 Saul Bellow, Edwina Pendarvis, Matthew Neill Null, Judith Moffett, Theodore Dreiser, & more #179 Larissa Shmailo, Eric Frizius, Jane Austen, Go Set a Watchman and more #178 Ken Champion, Cat Pleska, William Demby's Beetlecreek, Ron Rash, Elizabeth Gaskell, and more. #177 Jane Hicks, Daniel Levine, Constance Fenimore Woolson, Ken Chamption, Patricia Harman #176 Robert Gipe, Justin Torres, Marilynne Robinson, Velma Wallis, Larry McMurty, Charlotte Brontë, Henry James, Fumiko Enchi, Shelley Ettinger #175 Lists of what to read for the new year; MOUNTAIN MOTHER GOOSE: CHILD LORE OF WEST VIRGINIA; Peggy Backman #174 Christian Sahner, John Michael Cummings, Denton Loving, Madame Bovary#173 Stephanie Wellen Levine, S.C. Gwynne, Ed Davis's Psalms of Israel Jones, Quanah Parker, J.G. Farrell, Lubavitcher girls #172 Pat Conroy, Donna Tartt, Alice Boatwright, Fumiko Enchi, Robin Hobb, Rex Stout #171 Robert Graves, Marie Manilla, Johnny Sundstrom, Kirk Judd #170 John Van Kirk, Carter Seaton,Neil Gaiman, Francine Prose, The Murder of Helen Jewett, Thaddeus Rutkowski #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 #159Tom 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. #156The 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. #148The 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 #143Little 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. #134Daniel 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. #131The 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 #129Baltasar 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 #127Olive 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 #124Cloudsplitter, 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 #115Adam 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 #108The Animal Within; The Ground Under My Feet; King of Swords #107The Absentee; Gorky Park; Little Scarlet; Howl; Health Proxy #106Castle Rackrent; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; More on Drown; Blindness & more #105Everything 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 #101My Brilliant Career, The Scarlet Letter, John Banville, Never Let Me Go #100The 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 #93Kristin Lavransdatter, House Made of Dawn, Leaving Atlanta #92Death 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 #87Wings 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 #78The 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 #74In 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 #67The Medici #66Curious Incident,Temple Grandin #65 Ingrid Hughes on Memoir #64 Boyle, Worlds of Fiction#63The Namesame #62Honorary Consul; The Idiot#61Lauren'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 #55Addie, Hottentot Venus, Ake #54 Scott Oglesby, Jane Rule #53 Nafisi,Chesnutt, LeGuin #52 Keith Maillard, Lee Maynard #51 Gregory Michie, Carter Seaton #50Atonement, Victoria Woodhull biography #49Caucasia #48Richard Price, Phillip Pullman #47 Mid- East Islamic World Reader #46Invitation to a Beheading #45The Princess of Cleves #44 Shelley Ettinger: A Few Not-so-Great Books #43 Woolf, The Terrorist Next Door #42 John Sanford#41 Isabelle Allende #40Ed 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.... #24Tales of the City #23 Nonfiction, poetry, and fiction #22 More on Why This Newsletter #21 Salinger, Sarah Waters, Next of Kin #20 Jane Lazarre #19Artemisia 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 #13Gap 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 #5Tales 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