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Reviews

Sunday, January 1 1995

Looking For Andrew McCarthy by Jenny Colgan

Similarities to 'Bridget Jones' are plentiful.


The Late Great Johnny Ace And The Transition From R&B To Rock ‘n’ Roll by James M. Salem

Johnny Ace's influence on the development of American music was, if not quite as seismic as Elvis Presley's, an essential element in the creation of the musical revolution of the mid-Fifties.


Liberty’s Excess by Lidia Yuknavitch

The body is Yuknavitch's medium, and she puts it through its paces here. Her most powerful stories subject their protagonists to extremes of delight and torment -- when these characters feel, they feel in spades.


Kamikaze Lust by Lauren Sanders

Forging identities is seductive, but in the end it's a zero-sum game, unless one is willing to weld the new persona to the old circumstances, a point Lauren Sanders makes eloquently and insightfully in 'Kamikaze Lust'.


Jerusalem Calling: A Homeless Conscience in a Post-Everything World by Mark Desrosiers

The book combines tweedy rant with engaging memoir to reveal a refreshingly cynical, cloyingly elitist, and analytically Marxist point of view.


John Huston: Interviews by Robert Emmet Long

Huston is revealed as a seamless whole, tough guy and gentleman of culture, one of the last of the Renaissance Men.


I Almost Killed George Burns!  And Other Gut-Splitting Tales From the World’s Greatest Comedy Event

Explains how humor is manufactured, packaged, and delivered to the masses.


The Iowa Award: The Best Stories, 1991 - 2000 by Frank Conroy

Reading this book, it is easy to imagine a world where good writing sells, where the notion of story reigns supreme, and where the artful gesture is appreciated, even coveted.


In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself by Marlow Peerse Weaver, ed.

...calls upon writers all over the world born between the years 1960 and 1982 to express the thoughts, hopes, fears, and concerns of 'Generation X', now that they're old enough to qualify for nostalgia.


The IV Lounge Reader by Paul Vermeersch, ed.

This book, like a jewel made more interesting by flaws, is unique because we see authors genuinely struggling with the material to make it work. It is vital and alive.


The Inflatable Butch: New Funny Stuff by Ellen Orleans

Each story winds up with some kind of larger-picture statement about lesbian life, yet it falls short because you just can't sum up something universal about lesbian life in a two-page quip.


I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dyson illuminates the complexities of King’s identity and challenges the boundaries in which King and his legacy have been forced to inhabit because of desires on the part of the King family, traditional Civil Rights leaders, and the mass media to neuter (pun, absolutely intended) his persona and his politics.


In Therapy We Trust: America’s Obsessions with Self-Fulfillment by Eva S. Moskowitz

I do not knock the importance of counseling for people with serious problems... [but] only a culture like ours can develop on-line therapeutic support systems and then diagnose Internet Addiction Disorder.


In the Box Called Pleasure by Kim Addonizio

Wild women, alcoholics, sluts, masochists, the lustful and the ravaged populate these stories with a vengeance -- not necessarily a political one, but a human one that demands that these realities be exposed and explored.


Here To Go: Brion Gysin by Terry Wilson and Brion Gysin

Gysin deserves much better treatment than relegation to a footnote in the history of the Beats, much more consideration than simply as a 'friend of Bill'.


Henderson’s Spear by Ronald Wright

These critiques, however, are as close as you can come to having too much of a good thing. 'Henderson's Spear' is a fascinating tale that teaches its readers small lessons about Polynesian life, the British royalty and the Korean war effortlessly without seeming overstuffed.


The Hero’s Walk by Anita Rau Badami

[Expatriate Indian] writers -- among others -- cannot write as 'South Asians' or about India without encountering controversies over authenticity that push and prod the author to define, albeit reluctantly, a national identity. Perhaps the only way to truly answer the question of identity is by refusing to answer at all, or answering only with the condition that the interrogator be thoroughly comfortable with hyphens.


The Holocaust’s Ghost: Writings on Art, Politics, Law and Education by F.C. DeCoste and Bernard Schw

After many generations of being inculcated with 'real' television and movie reels, we have found the Holocaust equivalent to less than fiction - a reified historical memory that frequently appears in our lives through various media outlets and forms, but little more.


Hell’s Kitchen by Chris Niles

Niles applies her brilliant one-liners to play havoc with are our pop-culture silliness.


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