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Moon Unit Zappa's Beautiful America
By Rosie Levy (Nov 20, 2004)
Pity not the author whose claim to fame is being the child of a celebrity. With America the Beautiful, Moon Unit Zappa, stand-up comic and daughter of counterculture superstar Frank Zappa, comes into her own with a truly laugh-out-loud novel about the trials and tribulations of heartache, parental legacy and the luxurious Los Angeles lifestyle. More
Paul Auster and National Public Radio's I Thought My Father Was God
By Rosie Levy (Nov 20, 2004)
When the host of National Public Radio's "Weekend All Things Considered" asked Paul Auster to contribute to the program regularly by reading stories on air, Auster hesitated. Not sure whether he had the time or resources to commit to writing original material every month, he brought the idea home to his wife, Siri Hustvedt. When she proposed having listeners send in their own true stories, which Auster would then read on air, the National Story Project was born. Four thousand faxes, letters and emails later, the project is a success. More
Sprawling Tome Doesn't Merit Hype: Franzen's Novel Could Use More "Corrections"
By rebecca fox (Nov 20, 2004)
They're miserable. Their life choices have been wildly disparate. They chafe against the impositions of their opinionated parents. The "they" being referred to are the children of the Lambert family: Gary, Chip and Denise. These characters' assorted breakdowns, calamities and lapses in judgement comprise the bulk of Jonathan Franzen's novel, The Corrections, currently receiving hype as the only Oprah pick whose author ever dissed the Mighty O -- and lived to talk about it. More
Nancy Milford Profiles Edna St. Vincent Millay
By lisa ryers (Nov 19, 2004)
She was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Georgia O'Keeffe called her "the hummingbird." She was the subject of one of The New Yorker's first profiles. She devirginized Edmund Wilson. With these achievements in mind, is Edna St. Vincent Millay worthy of a 500 page biography? Writer Nancy Milford thought so. Best known for Zelda, the biography of Zelda Fitzgerald, Milford shifted her focus from wife of famous writer to famous writer/wife with her new book, Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay. More
Gold's Carter Beats the Devil Relives the Turn-of-the-Century Bay Area
By Rosie Levy (Nov 19, 2004)
Writing a review of Glen David Gold's captivating debut novel left me wracking my brain for witty and apt trickster phrases. Let's just start by saying that in Carter Beats the Devil, Gold has a full deck of cards up his sleeve. Nimbly written and gloriously detailed, this historical novel traverses the life of magician Charles Carter, a native San Franciscan, who finds himself involved in a mystery of sorts. More
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage Delights
By SFS Staff (Nov 19, 2004)
In Alice Munro's tenth book, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, Munro fans are not exactly entering new territory. We recognize the small town on the border of a lake, the awkward furniture and the tidy porches; we recognize the schoolteachers, the women with bad teeth and the men with old-school courtesy. Some critics have faulted Munro -- as they have faulted Eudora Welty -- for retreading over the same ground in rural southwestern Ontario and the cities of Vancouver and Toronto. But what makes Munro a great writer is her ability to take us to places of discovery in a landscape we though More
Fill Jim Crace's The Devil's Larder
By rebecca fox (Nov 19, 2004)
Jim Crace offers up 64 tasty little tales, musing on the nature of food and eating, and all that those activities engender. The slim collection doesn't feature a story more than six pages long, but each boasts a unique take on the theme of digestion, consumption, location or offering of food and drink More
Kogan's Shutterbabe Chronicles Both
By lisa ryers (Nov 19, 2004)
When was the last time you read an autobiography of a woman under 40 who wasn't hocking a weight-loss plan, a guide to financial riches, or an enlightened path for the uninitiated after rehab? Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War is a welcome departure from these mainstays. More
Salman Rushdie's Fury
By Anhoni Patel (Nov 19, 2004)
Maybe aging does make you wistful and, as each year passes, you begin to assess your life more and more. Author Salman Rushdie seems to be looking back at the last 55 years of his own life, at least that's the impression you get from reading his latest novel, Fury, which explores the (mid)life of a quasi-fictional character, Professor Malik "Solly" Solanka, as he reaches a crossroads in his own 55-year-old existence and enters into his "silvered years." More
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's The Vine of Desire
By SFS Staff (Nov 19, 2004)
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, has always been preoccupied with memory and loss. When the memories of her storytelling grandfather and her growing-up time in India started slipping away, Divakaruni, best known for The Mistress of Spices and The Unknown Errors of Our Lives, refused to be dispossessed. "I started writing as an act against forgetting," she said at the San Francisco Public Library on January 22, where she was launching her latest novel, The Vine of Desire. More
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