Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1823)

Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"The natural world is intense throughout, but all the people here are much of a piece, so alike in their lonely stillness as to be interchangeable."
Three intensely atmospheric and melancholy novellas of the West, by short-fiction writer Parvin (The Loneliest Road in America, 1997), in which three people probe the edges of their former lives, with varying degrees of success. Read full book review >
THE SAILOR’S WIFE by Helen Benedict
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"If only Joyce had remembered to beware of Greeks bearing gifts. As is, she's stuck in a novel with a creaky plot, thin characters, and old arguments."
A schematic third novel from Benedict (A World Like This, 1990; Bad Angel, 1995) uses a young woman's learning curve in love and life as a clumsy forum for a debate on freedom versus duty. Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A poetic but muddled love story of sorts."
Two turn-of-the-century ballplayers, cut from their team, encounter a backwoods goddess in rural Georgia. Beautiful Lottie Barton will love one, but marry the other. Read full book review >
SKY OF SWORDS by Dave Duncan
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"An enormously clever and impressive reshuffle, whether you regard the final twist as a brilliantly contrived sleight or an outrageous swindle: for panache, style, and sheer storytelling audacity, Duncan has few peers."
Third of Duncan's tales—or, rather, the third variation on the same theme—of the King's Blades (Lord of the Fire Lands, 1999, etc). Read full book review >
SO FAR BACK by Pam Durban
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Not an especially artful novel, though a generally absorbing and eventually very moving one. Durban really isn't one of the better novelists around, but her patience and compassion make her fiction very attractive—and worth paying attention to."
Ancestral guilt, racial conflict, and the call of the unlived life are the dominant themes of this intricate, slow-moving second novel from the South Carolinian author (All Set About With Fever Trees, 1985; The Laughing Place, 1993). Read full book review >

SNAPSHOTS by Joyce Carol Oates
Released: Sept. 30, 2000

"With contributors like Julia Alvarez, Ursula K. LeGuin, Gloria Naylor, Edna O'Brien, and others, the many facets of this truth are richly explored."
The chemistry between mothers and daughters can be loving, lethal, or some blend of both, as Oates and Berliner's first-rate collection of 17 stories (14 published previously) amply illustrates. Read full book review >
ON THE CEILING by Éric Chevillard
Released: Sept. 28, 2000

"Ezra Pound, who urged artists to 'make it new,' might have detected a rare (and rarefied) kindred spirit in the waggish—and alarmingly inventive—M. Chevillard."
Both logic and conventional romantic and family relations are blithely subverted in this droll 1997 fable by Chevillard, the popular French author whose earlier novel, The Crab Nebula (1998), has also appeared in English translation. Read full book review >
AFTER THE WAR by Alice Adams
Released: Sept. 26, 2000

"Tender, funny, and touching: a fitting close to an admirable career."
In her elegiac final novel, the late Adams picks up the story of Cynthia and Harry Baird where she left off in A Southern Exposure (1995). Read full book review >
BLUE RIDGE by T.R. Pearson
Released: Sept. 25, 2000

Fans of Pearson's six wonderful novels, especially of his Carolina trilogy and Cry Me a River (1993), may find his latest disappointing. The prose here is leaner, with little narrative expansiveness and less backslapping geniality. Read full book review >
LYING AWAKE by Mark Salzman
Released: Sept. 24, 2000

"A valiant and intelligent failure: despite his best efforts, Salzman has created a kind of ecclesiastical drag-show that fails to get below the surface of life in the Carmel."
A deliberate and somewhat plodding account of life inside a Carmelite convent, told with a surfeit of awe by Salzman (The Soloist, 1994; the nonfiction Lost in Place, 1995), who seems to have read too much Rumer Godden for his own good. Read full book review >
ROWING IN EDEN by Elizabeth Evans
Released: Sept. 22, 2000

"Precisely drawn but an age-old portrait of a dreamy girl on the sudden verge of womanhood."
An overly familiar outing from Evans (Carter Clay, 1999; The Blue Hour, 1994) tells of one Frances Jean Wahl, 13 years old—and beset by sexual longing. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 22, 2000

"A tale of two magnificently imagined characters, and a plaintive love song to (and vivid re-creation of) the fractious ethnic energy of New York City a half century ago."
A stroke of sheer conceptual genius links the themes of illusion and escape with that of the European immigrant experience of America in this huge, enthralling third novel from the author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988) and Wonder Boys (1994). 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 >