THE SCANDAL OF THE CENTURY

AND OTHER WRITINGS

The text is elegantly translated by McLean, and García Márquez fans will welcome these fresh and lively examples of his...

An eye-opening collection of articles that reveal Gabo the journalist.

New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson sets up this eclectic and transportive selection of 50 journalistic pieces from 1950 to 1984 by the Colombian Nobel laureate, noting in his introduction that journalism was García Márquez’s “first true love.” In fact, the beloved novelist (1927-2014) called it the “best profession in the world.” Editor Pera confesses that he purposefully chose pieces that “contain a latent narrative tension between journalism and literature” to showcase the author’s “unstoppable narrative impulse.” The titular article, the longest in the collection, written for El Spectador, which published García Márquez’s first short stories, is an account of the mysterious death of a young Italian woman in Rome in 1953. The atmospheric, serialized piece is told in chapter form and might owe something to García Márquez’s love of two “perfect” short stories he references in “Like Souls in Purgatory”: W.W. Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw” and Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.” Many of the articles confront political and social issues, including the U.S. blockade of Cuba, the Sandinista raid in Managua, Nicaragua, the international trafficking of women, the death of his beloved Magdalena River from pollution and deforestation, and the Soviet intervention in Hungary. In “Misadventures of a Writer of Books,” García Márquez admits that a writer “has no other revolutionary obligation than to write well.” He rages about bad teachers of literature who “spout nonsense,” calls the Nobel Prize a “senile laurel,” is convinced “Japanese novels have something in common with mine,” praises “self-sacrificing” translators as “brilliant accomplice[s],” and mourns the death of John Lennon. In the lovely “My Personal Hemingway,” García Márquez recalls seeing him across a Paris street in 1957 and shouting out, “Maaeeestro!”

The text is elegantly translated by McLean, and García Márquez fans will welcome these fresh and lively examples of his beautiful, lyrical writing.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-65642-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

FROM MEAN STREETS TO WALL STREET

Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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