I've spent late spring and most of the summer selling the house where we lived for thirty years, buying a new house, getting estimates from painters and asbestos removers, selling or throwing out a Sisyphean mound of possessions, including a couple of thousand books, and finally moving into the new house six minutes away. Everything everyone says about moving is true: it is stressful beyond belief and totally dominates your every waking moment. I wasn't hungry for a month, and found myself unable to read real literature. Adding to how deeply I sank into my very private business has been, I think, a despairing sense of powerlessness in the face of the insanity of the national leadership at the present time. How much easier to spend time contemplating which picture should go on which wall, shortening a cafe curtain, breaking down more boxes and tying them in bundles for recycling.
What I did read, I read strictly on my Kindle.. The physical books were still packed, so I borrowed genre e-books from the library, and finally reread a twentieth century classic. Here's what I read: (1) a memoir manuscript I was asked to blurb (doc file emailed to the Kindle); (2) three (or was it four?) Michael Connelly-Harry Bosch mysteries – a cop series recommended to me by another writer as competently written which I would agree to); and (3) To the Lighthouse.
The latter is something of a tradition for me. I re-read it periodically, and one of the times, if memory serves, was just after we moved into the house on Prospect Street thirty years ago. I remember sitting in a rocking chair near the big plate glass window in the living room, isolated by a lot of bare floor. This was before some kindly friend pointed out that the best way to deal with a big room is to put furniture in so-called conversational groupings rather than spread out. Duh.
So this time, when I finally felt that my brain could handle something besides straight narrative--when I began to get tired of Harry Bosch's male angst given moral loftiness by his devotion to justice, I turned to language in the service of exploring the meaning of time and place. To the Lighthouse has been just right. It even centers on a house, especially the middle section called "Time Passes," which dramatizes the effects of weather and human neglect on an empty house as years pass, and the family doesn't come back.
Woolf is so brilliant in this book: she details a multitude of people's world views, the colors and sounds of their highly developed perceptions-- and then tosses out major deaths among our favorite characters in brief bracketed sentences. The summer house, which had been given its life by the life force of Mrs. Ramsay, is an appropriate symbol, natural because it is the family's own symbol. Then of course, in the third part, t, they do come back, their numbers thinned, and finish some business left hanging in the wonderful, long first part: Lily Briscoe's painting and, of course, the sail to the lighthouse.
One of the great wonders of the book is the extreme realism of how it captures change over time. When I first read the book, in college or shortly after, I remember skimming it and panicking because I thought I didn't understand it. At that period of my life, I thought everything was a puzzle and a test, and that it was my job to gather my intellectual powers and figure it out and pass the test. I expect I tried to read the book too fast, to get the point, not yet grasping that for some books, the point is the experience, not the answer to any question.
The odd thing is that my brain was sharper then, but reading To the Lighthouse now is far easier. It will never be a fast read-- it doesn't have narrative momentum the way Harry Bosch's adventures do, dragging you in and on-- but in the right mood, which I was in as we emptied boxes, it is like stepping into water on a hot day, surprising and refreshing, an adventure and a relaxation as you lean back and float. Perhaps it is a book for grown-ups, as Woolf famously said about Middlemarch, "the magnificent book which with all its imperfections is one of the few English novels for grown-up people."
One more note: technically, Woolf does the omniscient viewpoint possibly better than anyone in modern times. She was only one generation after the magisterial Victorians. She skims from consciousness to consciousness with aplomb. Her own ego, of course, was clinically fragile, so perhaps that plays into her ability to hear and convey many voices. We also can't forget that she writes about people whose interests and education are very similar to each other's and hers-- they all share a frame of reference, cultural norms, and even speech patterns. Is that what omniscience in novels needs to succeed? Also, she has good structural elements supporting the book: Mrs. Ramsay herself, of course, often the object of others' attention when she herself is not the consciousness, and the powerful objective correlatives of the lighthouse and Lily Briscoe's painting at the beginning and end.
Anyhow, it's sad and sweet and brilliant and captures the whispers of time passing like nothing else. So good to be reading again.
(Image above right is Virginia Woolf's mother, Julia Jackson Duckworth Stephen, the model for Mrs. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse.)
Historical looks at selected murders in Appalachia, 1809-2012: Donna Meredith Reviews Appalachian Murders & Mysteries edited by James M. Gifford and Edwina Pendarvis
True crime stories sometimes evoke such a strong sense of revulsion and nausea I have to put the book aside, but not so Appalachian Murders & Mysteries, compiled and edited by James M. Gifford and Edwina Pendarvis.
This thoughtful collection provides a thoroughly researched history of murders in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Southern Ohio, rather than a blood-drenched rendition aimed at inducing visceral reactions. The 17 authors of the 23 stories have varied backgrounds. They include scholars, journalists, a state representative, teacher, historians, a judge, an archivist, a publisher, and an administrative assistant.
Accounts are presented in chronological order, beginning with the murder of a black slave child by her owners in 1809 and ending with the murder of a 16-year-old girl viciously stabbed by her best friends in 2012.
In “The Murder of a Child Named Hannah,” by Phyllis Wilson Moore, it is hardly surprising that a slave’s owners could not be found guilty of murder; but it is surprising that abuse rose to such heinous levels that the community protested. Witnesses had seen the child hanging, suspended by a rope or chain, completely naked from a peach tree. The body was exhumed and the case of this tortured thirteen year old went to court. The farmer insisted slaves were not human. Under Virginia law at the time, he was legally correct. Morally, neighbors in Brooke County felt nothing could justify the child’s burns, cuts, and beatings. The county, which later became part of West Virginia, is one of the few in the United States where white residents took other whites to court over a slave’s murder.
The gallows narrative of James Lane is the subject of “A Public End to a Life of Crime,” by Edwina Pendarvis. These narratives, according to Pendarvis, were popular from the late eighteenth into the late nineteenth century. They were sold as broadsheets or pulp paperbacks, with the purported aim of turning others away from crime. During the Age of Yellow Journalism, these narratives provided lurid descriptions to titillate readers.
Multiple murders are the subject of several pieces, including “The Ashland Tragedy,” by Keven McQueen; “Feud Murders in Rowan County,” by Terry Diamond; “In Harm’s Way,” by Phyllis Wilson Moore; “Sunday Slaughter—Pike County, Kentucky,” by Edwina Pendarvis; “Together Forever: The Skyline Drive Murders of Don & Brenda Howard,” by Judith F. Kidwell; “A Parade of Horribles: The WVU Coed Murders,” by Geoffrey Cameron Fuller. I was familiar with the Harry Power murder farm described by Moore because the murder of widows and children took place near my hometown in West Virginia, but I was surprised by Diamond’s account of the feud murders in Kentucky. The feud, which lasted from 1884-1887, was even more brutal than the famous Hatfield and McCoy feud, which I knew about even as a child. This Kentucky feud accounted for 20 deaths and 16 wounded. It grew out of corrupt state and local government following the Reconstruction Era. The spark that ignited the Rowan County War happened on election day over a hotly contested race for sheriff.
A few pieces cover unsolved cases, such as “The mystery of the Injured Babies,” by Judge Lewis D. Nicholls, Retired. This piece delves into “shaken baby syndrome,” with neuroscientists questioning the idea that simply shaking a baby could cause death. Interestingly, many juries still side against the science, perhaps wanting someone to blame to the loss of life.
Another piece that caught my attention was “Charles Manson’s Ties to the Tri-State Area,” by James M. Gifford. Before reading this account, I only associated Manson with Hollywood. Yet he had strong ties to Ashland and Boyd County in northeastern Kentucky and to Charleston, West Virginia. It wasn’t surprising to learn Manson, a sociopath, spent his youth in near constant trouble, bouncing from one form of incarceration to another.
Appalachian Murders & Mysteries adds to our understanding of the crime of murder, providing historical perspective. Fortunately for all of us, murder is rare—and that rarity contributes to our interest in it. As Pendarvis points out in the “Afterword,” the murder rate in the Appalachian region covered in this volume is even lower than the national average.
The authors try to lay out the reasons behind each of these criminal acts, but this collection leaves us pondering that unanswerable question: how could anyone deliberately commit such an irrevocable act against a fellow human?
Joel Weinberger on Middlemarch
Middlemarch is a book of surprising breadth, given its rather specific setting. Through 4 or 5 plot lines, depending on how you count them, it covers a society and era that I haven't seen too many novels attempt. Furthermore, it's not as simple a story as it initially appears to be, and even the plots take turns you don't expect. The novel explores social norms, feminism (of a limited, 19th century sort), politics, wealth, and a host of other topics.
All of that having been said, I just often found myself bored while reading Middlemarch. It is wordy, it is drawn out, and while the plot has some gripping moments, they are far and few between. And so here I find myself, enjoying enough of it that I want to like it more than I do, but I would be hard pressed to convince myself to read it again.
Ultimately Eliot is always compared to Austen, which is hardly fair. Middlemarch is, in fact, a vastly more ambitious book, and not too directly about its own plot. It is about the world the characters inhabit and their society. Having said that, if the comparison must be made, it does feel like it drags compared to, say, Pride & Prejudice, and while the ambition is admirable, I couldn't find myself drawn into it in the way that so many others seem to be.
Jane Lazarre's new memoir The Communist and the Communist's Daughter is coming this fall. You can start reading the prologue right now!
Lori Brown Mirabal's book about becoming an opera singer--and teacher--Coming soon!
Hilton Obenzinger's latest: Treyf Pesach--to be reviewed soon.
Coming soon from Mountain State Press, an anthology titled: Voices on Unity: Coming Together, Falling Apart. Thirty three talented contributors are featured in the collection with their wonderful essays, poems, fiction, and song.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, UPCOMING BOOKS, GOOD NEWS, AND MORE.
Joan Liebovitz's story "A Bad Day in the Promised Land," published in the spring 2017 issue of Persimmon Tree, has been selected for a "2017 Write Well Award" and will appear in the next Write Well Award Anthology. Thepurpose of the anthology is to "recognize authors of some of the best stories on the web" and to raise funds for Silver Pen, Inc. a non-profit organization that helps writers by offering online courses, etc.
More good news about Yorker Keith's The Other La Bohème: The novel about four opera singers is featured in the August 15, 2017, issue of Kirkus Review Magazine in an article called "Chasing Musical Dreams" that highlights three books whose theme is music (page 224 of the issue)
Joseph Harms has a new collection called _Bel_ coming from Expat Press .
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 request otherwise, your responses may be edited for length and published in this newsletter.
#192 Young Adut books from Appalachia; Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse; Michael Connelly; Middlemarch; historical murders in Appalachia. #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