Next book


A radiant delight for Carson’s many admirers.

A rich gathering of short works by poet and scholar Carson (An Oresteia, 2009, etc.), joining past to present and ancient to modern.

Carson is by temperament both experimental poet and traditional classical scholar (her bio line reads, laconically, “Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living”), heavy on linguistic parsing and close reading on the one hand and lightning bursts of metaphorical insight on the other. This collection, innovatively presented as a series of chapbooks that can be read sequentially or not as the mood strikes, highlights both interests. These chapbooks variously gather lectures, poems, notes, performance pieces (some written for and very much in the spirit of Laurie Anderson), and miscellanea—the last including, for instance, a list of the periods of the French experimental artist Yves Klein, among them “The Era of Taming the Cunning Ego” and “The Era of the Deciding That Line Is Jealous of Color Line Is a Tourist in Space.” The poems inhabit the country that lies somewhere between late modernism and postmodernism—“most people / blush before death / she just / steps off”—and they are often reminiscent of W.S. Merwin and, if he were more inclined to lyric, the late Guy Davenport. Readers of a more critical bent may enjoy her prose pieces more, since these touch on themes in classical literature and history, often as refracted through later eras: for example, one essay ponders the origins of our color term “purple” in the Greek name for a Mediterranean fish, the search for which gave the Greeks a lovely metaphor for hashing through dark thoughts, which then leads into Hölderlin’s insanity, Paul Celan’s private language, and other matters more or less arcane. Readers of whatever description will enjoy watching Carson’s nimble mind at play—and play is just the word, for Carson caresses words, winds them up and watches them go: “If Picasso’s curls could quote Napoleon’s curls then resemblance might all but rob the one gentleman of the other’s identity….”

A radiant delight for Carson’s many admirers.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-94684-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

Next book


Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Next book


A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Close Quickview