lisa ryers

SF Station Writer

lisa ryers's Articles
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A Memoir You May Outgrow
By Lisa Ryers (Jul 05, 2005)
When feeling lofty, book jacket copywriters like to use the word [i]bildingsroman[/i] to apply to a well-crafted book which is over 400 pages and paints a portrait (usually autobiographical) of the male arc of boy to man. We all know Thomas Mann deserved the word. Thomas Wolfe deserved it. The question is, does Sean Wilsey deserve it? More »
San Francisco's Two Nations
By Lisa Ryers (Apr 27, 2005)
Reading "Winners" by Eric B. Martin, I was reminded of the "two nations" speech vice presidential candidate John Edwards used to truck out during campaign stops. Edwards maintained that the country is losing its middle class and polarizing into two nations (you could say "under God" depending on your red or blue state tidings). In Martin's book, the two nations sit under the seven by seven square foot umbrella of San Francisco circa 1999. It was a time when Elvis Costello playing at the company Christmas party was de rigueur while the south and southeast sectors of the city buckled under gentrification. More »
A Great Read to Honor Black History Month
By Lisa Ryers (Jan 18, 2005)
In 'Arc of Justice', Ohio State University history professor Kevin Boyle dramatizes the life of Ossian Sweet, an African American doctor who had the audacity in the 1920s to not only move his family into a White neighborhood but to shoot at a marauding, lynching crowd. His uprising resulted in the death of one man and the maiming of another. Boyle shows how this little-known case not only became another trophy for attorney Clarence Darrow, but a catalyst for the modern day NAACP. More »
Humanizing the Myth
By Lisa Ryers (Jan 04, 2005)
In spite of its scary New Age subtitle, this book is not a road trip to self-actualization, 16th-Century style. The author is a Harvard humanities professor, and as such, provides the reader with a context for Shakespeare's world as well as pertinent text analysis. Greenblatt's academic repertoire details how relevant court cases, the effect of the bubonic plague, the nuts and bolts of set construction, the vagrant life of the actor, and English status games all provided the backdrop for Shakespeare's works. More »
Caroline Moorehead's Gellhorn
By Lisa Ryers (Jun 15, 2004)
Time for a quiz: In the 1920s, this novelist and journalist left a Midwestern home and secured shipboard passage to Paris in exchange for an article about the trip. Said writer soon became one of the preeminent war reporters of the time, as well as an author of twelve novels and short story collections. If you've answered "Ernest Hemingway," you're close. Add a "Mrs.," and you're spot-on. More »
If you can't make it to Dublin for the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, the Bay Area is a brilliant place to be.
By Lisa Ryers (May 15, 2004)
Ernest Shackleton's miraculous Antarctic survival. Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart in their flying machines. Apollo 11 touching down on the moon. Of all epic 20th century voyages, there is arguably none so devotedly celebrated around the world as Leopold Bloom's 24-hour wanderings through Dublin, Ireland. Bloom, of course, is the fictional protagonist of [i]Ulysses[/i], James Joyce's masterpiece and homage to his hometown first published in 1922. Instantly decried as profane, the book was banned in the United States until 1933. In a ruling to overturn the ban, Judge John Woolsey wrote, "[i]Ulysses[/i] is not an easy book to read or t More »
Jesse Shepard's Jubilee King
By Lisa Ryers (May 01, 2003)
Closer to home, fiction writer Jesse Shepard joins his father Sam on the bookshelves with his first collection of shorts stories, Jubilee King. When you read Sam Shepard's work horses, cowboys, the movie business, and humor are constant talismans. When you see his work on stage, the details create the West: barefeet and silver ankle bracelets, cowboy boots sealed with silver gaffer's tape. More »
Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved
By Lisa Ryers (Apr 01, 2003)
With an ensemble of fewer than ten principal characters, Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved, a psychological thriller sheathed in the Manhattan art scene, seduces the reader by constantly shuffling the deck and dealing new pairs. More »
Richard Price's Samaritan
By Lisa Ryers (Mar 01, 2003)
During his recent tour, Richard Price stood in front of a crowd at A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books and told everyone the one question he had for reviewers who pan his books: "How do they get my mother's number?" It is this kind of humor which leavens the violence of his plots and the grit of his favored milieu, low income New York and New Jersey. His seventh book, Samaritan, is no different in this regard. More »
Michael Tolkin's Under Radar
By Lisa Ryers (Dec 15, 2003)
When a book is dedicated in part to Where the Wild Things author Maurice Sendak, you know you're not in for a safe trip between the pages. Michael Tolkin's latest novel, Under Radar, is populated with monsters, beginning with the main character. More »
lisa ryers's Articles
Page: « Prev   1 2 3 4 5  Next » | 31 to 40 of 49