Essays & Anthologies Book Reviews (page 115)

FROM EROS TO GAIA by Freeman Dyson
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: July 1, 1992

"Together, these essays deliver the intellectual and moral punch that Dyson's readers expect, and offer an edifying wrap-up of an exceptional scientific and literary career."
Dyson (Physics/Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies; Weapons and Hope, 1984, etc.) cleans house with this stimulating collection of 35 articles, lectures, and essays on science and the future of humanity—less focused, by necessity, than his earlier works, but with something to satisfy every Dyson fan. Read full book review >
AMERICAN ENERGIES by Sven Birkerts
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: June 17, 1992

"Recycled journalism: of interest for the subjects only, not for the author."
Fifty-odd essays on American letters and the American scene, by Harvard critic Birkerts (The Electric Life, 1988; An Artificial Wilderness, 1987), most of which consist of reviews already published in The Nation, The Atlantic, The New Republic, etc. Birkerts is an active and intelligent writer who spent most of the past decade observing the intellectual trends of the day: postmodernism, deconstruction, ``cultural literacy,'' video-mania, minimalism, etc. There was a lot to talk about and it kept him busy at the task: not many contemporary writers, and few contemporary movements, escape his notice here. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1992

"The man who once ran a pig for president has become a seasoned do-gooder, and this enjoyable if unabashedly sentimental collection may well succeed in convincing readers that working to ease suffering in the world can be a wonderful trip."
Legendary hippie Wavy Gravy presents 49 goofy and sometimes gripping autobiographical vignettes on everything from Woodstock to Janis Joplin's infectious laugh to the charitable Seva Foundation, using his own life and distinctly wavy sense of humor to get people to ``dare to struggle, dare to grin.'' ``What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000.'' This sunny if unrealistic announcement, blasted through the loudspeakers at Woodstock, became emblematic for Gravy as, over the years, the toothless, grinning founding father of the still-thriving Hog Farm commune came to represent humanitarian and spiritual action as a fun pursuit, a prankster path. Read full book review >
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 8, 1992

A strong anthology, selected from over 3,000 nominations made by the editors of 364 literary magazines and small presses, of challenging and generally first-rate stories, poems, and illustrations (photos, art work). Read full book review >
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Feb. 17, 1992

"Not what you read in the headlines—this is captivating news."
Siegel's talent for thoughtful and responsible reportage, first evidenced in A Death in White Bear Lake (1990), finds a perfect showcase in this collection of pieces (most first published in The Los Angeles Times) on how ordinary Americans grapple with ethical ambiguity in courtrooms, scientific laboratories, doctors' offices, and everyday life. Read full book review >

PASSIONS OF THE MIND by A.S. Byatt
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Feb. 1, 1992

"Most often confined by narrow academic parameters to lengthy quotes and tentatively advanced ideas, Byatt's rich inventive talents are well served here only rarely."
A collection of previously published essays and reviews (The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, etc.), seemingly more the work of a competent grad student than an imaginative novelist, and sure to disappoint those who enjoyed Byatt's Booker Prize-winning Possession (1990). Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 1991 by Joyce Carol Oates
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 29, 1991

"Overall, though, not the essay's finest outing."
Oates, in her introduction, defines the essay, a la Randall Jarrell, as "prose works of certain lengths that have many more things right about them than wrong" Montaigne, Hazlitt, Mandelstam would roll in their graves! Read full book review >
BROKEN VESSELS by Andre Dubus
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: July 15, 1991

"A beautifully written, moving, and altogether wonderful book."
In his first volume of nonfiction, short-story writer Dubus (The Last Worthless Thing, 1986, etc.) reveals the passions, struggles, and strengths underlying his art, life, and arduous recovery from personal tragedy. Read full book review >
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 1, 1991

"You can't ask for more than that in an essay."
Lively, wide-ranging collection of 75 pieces written over the past ten years by the author of The Satanic Verses. Read full book review >
OPUS 300 by Isaac Asimov
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Dec. 10, 1984

"With official autobiography, and also running commentary—noting background and mood, saluting or mourning friends: the ruminative as well as the energetic Asimov, already on the road to Opus 400."
As promised, Asimov's 300th book comes out just before his 65th birthday, in January. Read full book review >
PIECES AND PONTIFICATIONS by Norman Mailer
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 1, 1982

"No surprises, then, and rarely deep—but also rarely dull: Mailer-mania for the sizable following."
Minor Mailer—at great length. Read full book review >
THE EIFFEL TOWER AND OTHER MYTHOLOGIES by Richard  Howard
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 21, 1979

"Minor, dated work to begin with (some go back 20 years), these pieces make even less of an impact as an export."
Another crop of "mythologies"—structuralist patterns inside daffy life—from Barthes, pieces that are as close as he ever comes to occasional writing. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >