Synopses & Reviews
Is a book the same book--or a reader the same reader--the second time around? The seventeen authors in this witty and poignant collection of essays all agree on the answer: Never.
The editor of Rereadings is Anne Fadiman, and readers of her bestselling book Ex Libris will find this volume especially satisfying. Her chosen authors include Sven Birkerts, Allegra Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Patricia Hampl, Phillip Lopate, and Luc Sante; the objects of their literary affections range from Pride and Prejudice to Sue Barton, Student Nurse.
These essays are not conventional literary criticism; they are about relationships. Rereadings reveals at least as much about the reader as about the book: each is a miniature memoir that focuses on that most interesting of topics, the protean nature of love. And as every bibliophile knows, no love is more life-changing than the love of a book.
"Former American Scholar editor Fadiman (Ex Libris) has drawn from a column in that journal for a charming collections of essays on the varied ways book lovers read. The best of these entries Arthur Krystal's return to H.C. Witwer's boxing novel, The Leather Pushers; Dianna Kappel-Smith's assessment of the field guide that stirred an interest in the natural world; Michael Upchurch's consideration of Christina Stead's fictional financial world are written by masters of the essay form, revealing themselves at the different phases of their lives through the act of reading. All of the writers share a gratitude for the books that helped them navigate their lives, especially over the rocky shoals of adolescence. The return to beloved works is not always simple, especially when readers come to see the faults in books that they so closely identified with years earlier. As many note, the act of reading changes over the course of a lifetime, from an easy engagement with plot and character to an awareness of politics and style. They may bemoan their own loss of literary innocence, but each finds a new way to appreciate the texts that have accompanied them through life. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Is a book the same book---or a reader the same reader--the second time around? The 17 authors in this witty and poignant collection of essays all agree on the answer: Never.
About the Author
Anne Fadiman is the author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award, an L.A. Times Book Prize, and a Salon Book Award. She is also the author of two essay collections, At Large and At Small and Ex Libris. Her essays and articles have appeared in Harpers, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, among other publications. She is the Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale.
Table of Contents
Forward by Anne Fadiman
David Samuels, Marginal Notes on the Inner Lives of People with Cluttered Apartments in the East Seventies
Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
Patricia Hampl, Relics of Saint Katherine
The Journal, Letters, and Stories of Katherine Mansfield
Sven Birkerts, Love's Wound, Love's Salve
Pan, by Knut Hamsun
Vijay Seshadri, Whitman's Triumph
"Song of Myself," by Walt Whitman
Arthur Krystal, Kid Roberts and Me
The Leather Pushers, by H.C. Witwer
Diana Kappel Smith, My Life with a Field Guide
A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and Northcentral North America, by Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny
Luc Sante, A Companion of the Prophet
Arthur Rimbaud, by Enid Starkie
Katherine Ashenburg, Three Doctors' Daughters
The Sue Barton Books, by Helen Dore Boylston
Jamie James, "You Shall Hear of Me"
Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad
Vivian Gornick, Love with a Capital L
The Vagabond and The Shackle, by Colette
Michael Upchurch, Stead Made Me Do It
House of All Nations, by Christina Stead
Allegra Goodman, Pemberley Previsited
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Pico Iyer, Lawrence by Lightning
The Virgin and the Gypsy, by D.H. Lawrence
Barbara Sjoholm, The Ice Palace
"The Snow Queen," by Hans Christian Andersen
Evelyn Toynton, Revisiting Brideshead
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
Phillip Lopate, The Pursuit of Worldliness
The Charterhouse of Parma, by Stendhal
David Michaels, The Back of the Album
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, by the Beatles
About the Contributors