New York City is not only The New Yorker magazine's place of origin and its sensibility's life blood, it is the heart of American literary culture. Wonderful Town, an anthology of superb short fiction by many of the magazine's most accomplished contributors, celebrates the 75-year marriage between a preeminent publication and its preeminent context with this collection of 20 of its best stories from (so to speak) home.
"Great stories and readers, but technically sloppy"
In Drinking in America, best-selling author Susan Cheever chronicles our national love affair with liquor, taking a long, thoughtful look at the way alcohol has changed our nation's history. This is the often-overlooked story of how alcohol has shaped American events and the American character from the 17th to the 20th century.
"Some what liberal interpretation of history."
E. E. Cummings' radical experimentation with form, punctuation, spelling, and syntax resulted in his creation of a new, idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. And while there was critical disagreement about his work (Edmund Wilson called it "hideous", while Malcolm Cowley called him "unsurpassed in his field"), at the time of his death in 1962, at age 67, he was, after Robert Frost, the most widely read poet in the United States. Now, in this new biography, Susan Cheever traces the development of the poet and his work.
"Very engaging story of the life of e.e.cummings!"
Based on extensive research and access to Alcott's journals and correspondence, Cheever chronicles all aspects of Alcott's life, beginning with the fateful meeting of her parents to her death, just two days after that of her dynamic and domineering father, Bronson. Cheever examines Alcott's role as a woman, a working writer, and a daughter at a time when Alcott's rejection of marriage in favor of independence - a decision to be no man's "little woman" - was seen as defying conventional wisdom.
"Dispels myth and revels in truth"
Here is a fascinating biography of those who were, in the mid-19th century, at the center of American thought and literature. It was an eclectic cast of characters. At various times in Concord, Massachusetts, three houses were home to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry and John Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathanial Hawthorne. Among their friends and neighbors were Henry James, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe, and others - men and women are at the heart of American idealism.
"Decent intro to 1840's Concord"
The battle rages in every mother: stay at home or go back to work. This panel at New York's 92nd Street Y features four contributors to the new book The Mommy Wars (edited by Leslie Morgan Steiner) as they discuss the state of motherhood. The panelists represent multiple points on the "working full time vs. stay-at-home" spectrum, and they share their personal experiences and opinions with brutal honesty and wit.
Bill Buford spends a wild night in the park; Jonathan Safran Foer envisions it as a tiny, transplanted piece of a mythical Sixth Borough; and Marie Winn answers definitively Holden Caulfield's question of where the ducks go when the park's ponds freeze over. There are bird sightings and fish sightings; Jackie Kennedy and James Brown sightings; and pieces by Colson Whitehead, Paul Auster, and Francine Prose. This vibrant collection presents Central Park in all its many-faceted glory, a 51-block swath of special magic.