THE POET AT THE PIANO: Portraits of Writers, Filmmakers, Playwrights, and Other Artists at Work by Michiko Kakutani

THE POET AT THE PIANO: Portraits of Writers, Filmmakers, Playwrights, and Other Artists at Work

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the pages of the New York Times, short essays--more sketches than full-fledged portraits--on 36 celebrated creators, by a prominent Times book critic. A classic-style journalist, Kakutani never lets her prose obscure the subject; fluid, simple, direct, her takes on authors (from Bellow to Wiesel), film directors (Bergman to Wilder), playwrights and producers (Feiffer to Wilson), and performers (Ellington to Olivier and Plowright) highlight each artist's career and vision in brief, telling strokes. Kakutani's insights rarely astonish, but she presents the obvious clearly (i.e., of Billy Wilder, ""More often than not, his movies involve elaborate deceptions ending in loss of innocence""), and salts most of the sketches with extensive fragments of conversation between herself and the subject. An elegant, light, enjoyable survey.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1988
Publisher: Times Books