Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1818)

THE WAY FORWARD IS WITH A BROKEN HEART by Alice Walker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 9, 2000

"Many voices are heard here, and whether they preach or praise, coo or condemn, they all come from one heart."
Using the accretion method that has become her trademark, Walker (By the Light of My Father's Smile, 1998, etc.) here offers a many-voiced, often lyrical story—but in discrete, oddly shaped lumps—of her first marriage and subsequent awakenings over the course of a lifetime of relationships. Read full book review >
AN AMERICAN OUTRAGE by G.K. Wuori
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 6, 2000

"Disturbing and different, with no end of introspective asides, this still could use more insight into the cold, dark heart of the woman with the badge and the gun."
A bleak morality tale, about a woman on her own, a senseless killing, and a small town full of strange folk, set in the same place, Quillifarkeag, Maine, featured in Wuori's debut collection (Nude in Tub, 1998). Read full book review >

SPONTANEOUS by Diana Wagman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 6, 2000

"The frustrated desires of these characters are linked symbolically to the meat in Aunt Neddy's freezer. Spontaneous combustion microwaves rather than thaws, leaving its products ready quickly, and as well done as this exercise in flash defrosting."
Wagman's second (after Skin Deep, 1997), like a good Hollywood thriller, links an implausible premise to events convincing enough in their detail and swift enough in their development to carry the reader forward. Read full book review >
WHERE I’M BOUND by Allen B. Ballard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 5, 2000

"One wishes Ballard Godspeed in his wisely chosen new career. This is a fine beginning to it."
The experiences of black soldiers during the Civil War, and the ordeal of a family victimized and fragmented by slavery, are the subjects in this well-researched and solidly written debut novel, by a respected teacher and historian (One More Day's Journey, not reviewed, etc.). Read full book review >
ALMOST STRANGERS by Delsa Winer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 4, 2000

"An imaginative but flawed debut, with slight characters and a strained plot that are, at times, overwhelmed by powerful word pictures and demanding big ideas."
First-novelist Winer explores the meaning of survival and identity, as a woman, mourning her dead mother, her old way of life, and a futile love affair, finds her new life even more perplexing than her old. Read full book review >

THE QUICK AND THE DEAD by Joy Williams
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 4, 2000

"Williams is in top form here (State of Grace, 1990, etc.), her outrage balanced by a wise, compassionate, bemused overview. Think Denis Johnson's world, minus the drugs—ultimately, though, Williams echoes only herself in a risky, frisky, profound book."
A highly original coming-of-ager that integrates the gothic and magical realism in its consideration of families, youth, souls, and the fates of species. Read full book review >
WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Fern Michaels
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 3, 2000

"The hugely popular Michaels (Picture Perfect, p. 1084, etc.) cranks up the soap-making machinery, but her direct style and breakneck pace keeps it humming. Improbable melodrama, mostly for the fans."
A battered woman begins a new life—until her psychopathic husband catches up with her. Read full book review >
BLACKGAMMON by Heather Neff
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 3, 2000

"Despite the politically correct trappings: an old-fashioned tale about the power of love too consciously worked out to be affecting."
In an ambitious first novel held captive to its themes of racism, art, and abiding love, a vow made by two African-American women leads them to fame, fortune—and heartbreak. Read full book review >
THE BRIDEGROOM by Joseph J. Ellis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 3, 2000

"Marvelous fiction. Ha Jin's work is getting better and better."
The cultural and economic consequences of capitalism vs. communism are dramatized in unforgettably human terms in this brilliant third collection of 12 stories (Under the Red Flag, 1997, etc.) by the Chinese-American author (Waiting, a 1999 National Book Award winner). Read full book review >
O LOST by Thomas Wolfe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 3, 2000

"Perhaps you can go home again. A strange and lovely return indeed, for which much thanks to the enterprising Bruccolis."
The famous first version of Look Homeward, Angel (1929), Wolfe's titanic debut novel that had been whipped into publishable shape by Scribner editor Maxwell Perkins. Read full book review >
IN THE GATHERING WOODS by Adria Bernardi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 2, 2000

"Folkloric at first, and full of Italian phrases (translated), Bernardi's somber stories have the outlines of a grand family saga but settle for the minor pleasures of competent ethnic fiction."
Bernardi, a translator and historian (Houses with Names: The Italian Immigrants of Highwood, Illinois, 1990), quickly follows her first novel (The Day Laid on the Altar, p. 813) with this Drue Heinz prize-winning collection of stories, set both in suburban Chicago and in the Italian town her family comes from. Read full book review >
THE NIGHT LISTENER by Armistead Maupin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 2, 2000

"The postmodern, what-is-real? theme highlights Maupin's intellectual shortcomings rather than his emotional strengths, but strong storytelling, punchy humor, and a warmhearted narrator carry the day."
A touching but rather facile meditation on the way artists manipulate facts in their quest for truth, by the author of Maybe the Moon (1992) and the popular Tales of the City series. 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 >