Archive for June, 2009
Adapted from the popular “Fine Lines” column of the female-centric blog Jezebel.com, this collection of essays offers sentimental retrospectives blended with a little literary criticism on beloved childrens and YA classics, most of which are popular with girls. The essays are written in the frank, effusive style of a well-read best friend, complete with exclamations of OMG. Beyond the fond remembrances of girlhood fictional crushes, however, lie compelling examinations of how spunky heroines and their sometimes controversial but all-too-familiar trials and tribulations helped a generation of readers navigate the perennially perilous waters of adolescence.
You might think of girls’ fiction as one big Cinderalla rewrite — that scullery maid who finally gets her night at the ball. But if you’re seeking tips on weathering the economic crisis, your daughter’s bookshelf may be better than Suze Orman…
That’s right: NPR let me borrow their station to once again expatiate upon the many skills evidenced by young heroines in tight spots, included but not limited to wolf-taming, applesauce-sugaring, and ripping up ball gowns for food. Oh, wait — that’s just to wear for another season. Still good to know. Click to listen to Buck Up: Life Lessons From Young Heroines.
The LA Times’ Jacket Copy blog included me in their 60 new books to read this summer. I understand you do not have to read all 60.
Signing Shelf Discovery
Date: Friday, May 29th
Time: 11:00 am
Place: Table 13, Author signing area
Location: Jacob Javits Center, 655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001
“About Reading” panel
Moderated by Louise Steinman, with Laura Miller, Sara Nelson and Jane Smiley
Date: Sunday, April 26
Time: 11:00 AM
Launched from her regular feature column “Fines Lines” for Jezebel.com, this spastically composed, frequently hilarious omnibus of meditations on favorite YA novels dwells mostly among the old-school titles from the late ’60s to the early ’80s much beloved by now grown-up ladies. Her suggestions will prove superhelpful (not to mention wildly entertaining) for educators, librarians and parents.
At the LA Times Book Festival two weeks ago, I sat on a panel about reading with the marvelous Laura Miller, Jane Smiley, and Sara Nelson. Then C-Span put it on TV!
You can watch the entire panel here, or, if you like, I’ve assembled some handy clips. (You’ll have to allow popups for the player to work.)
For anyone who spent childhood summers reading as many books as possible, this is the season to revisit them. [link]
I discovered Richard Yates under circumstances the author would have found irredeemably precious, on a residency at Yaddo, working my way through the library of former residents. The desiccated copy of “Revolutionary Road,” its spine half-flaked off, told the unapologetically bleak story of Frank and April Wheeler, a husband and wife in 1950s Connecticut suburbia who are alternately battened by insecurity and misplaced superiority. “Revolutionary Road” was dire without being maudlin, erudite without being show-offy, and cruel yet correct. It was masterful and it was not pleased with itself in the least, and it was exactly unlike every character it depicted.
“‘Revolutionary Road’ by Richard Yates goes Hollywood” (Chicago Tribune, December 2008)
“Tools — > options — > thoughtful analysis. If only explaining it all were this easy” (The Los Angeles Times, May 2009)
“Marriage By The Book” (NPR’s Books We Like, December 2008)
“Macabre Master Stephen King Returns To Form” (NPR’s Books We Like, November 2008)