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Archives for February 2006

>Sense and Meta-bility

>Marilyn Sachs meta-fictionalizes Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen in her new novel, First Impressions (Brodie/Roaring Brook, 2006). After positing in a term paper that P&P is “really a tragedy that just got away from the author” and whose true fulcrum is the hardly-mentioned sister Mary Bennet, Alice is forced by her teacher to do […]

>Life in the Old Girl Yet

>Nancy Drew parodies aren’t new (one of my favorites is Mabel Maney’s Case of the Good-for-Nothing Girlfriend) but Chelsea Cain’s Confessions of a Teen Sleuth is exhaustive in trying out the dimensions of a metafictive life. In this “autobiography” (dedicated to Frank Hardy) Nancy is determined to clear up the mistakes made and lies put […]

>The exception that isn’t

>When it comes to celebrity books, Linda Sue Park asks only for better editing. Because the authors are amateurs and the publicity extensive, Park argues that “with celebrity titles, publishers have even more responsibility than usual to produce a good book,” and that to let something by that is second-rate shows a lack of respect […]

>Breed update

>Thank yous, please, to Lolly and her able ally Claire, for formatting and uploading the Clara Breed article I referenced the other day. Here it is. Some of Breed’s opinions, such as her implicit (or perhaps cagey) acceptance of the necessity for removal of Japanese-Americans from California for the duration of the war, look complacent […]

>Less being more

>I’ve just finished reading Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs (Penguin paperback, 2004) and I have a couple of complaints for the publisher. Maisie Dobbs, an Alex Award winner, is an adult novel, kind of a mystery, kind of a romance, kind of an elegy, about a female private eye in 1929 London. She takes a case […]

>Clara Breed

>Have a look at this story about Clara Breed, a San Diego librarian who in the 1940s, outraged at the internment of her young Japanese-American patrons, sent them books at the internment camp at Poston. Joanne Oppenheim has a new book about Breed, Dear Miss Breed, which is being reviewed in the March issue of […]

>Dinner and a Movie

>Join editors Jennifer Brabander and Kitty Flynn for their take on Curious George. My last motion picture experience was Cache, and I’m getting the feeling that George might have been more my speed.

>I was born too soon.

>So where was this guy when I was in junior high?

>"For Children"

>The recent challenge in Colorado to a video introducing Gounod’s Faust (featuring Joan Sutherland and puppets) and our upcoming article by Vicky Smith regarding adaptations of Shakespeare both came to mind last Saturday morning. Richard generally keeps the radio going nonstop in the kitchen, always tuned to WCRB, Boston’s classical station. And when, back from […]

>Spoken Here

>I’m getting quite enthusiastic about Mark Abley’s Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages, which has been around for a few years but has only recently appeared in paperback. Not only is its theme–why the extinction of a language matters–important, but Abley has a good eye for detail and anecdote in each of the cultures he […]