PERFECT HUSBANDS AND OTHER FAIRY TALES

DEMYSTIFYING MARRIAGE, MEN AND ROMANCE

A sassy gazetteer by Barreca (English and Feminist Theory/Univ. of Connecticut; They Used To Call Me Snow White, 1991) that explores the modern matrimonial state from all angles, kicking up plenty of facts, fictions, and jokes along the way. Barreca's avowed purpose here is to discover the ``differences between men's and women's beliefs concerning marriage, and, specifically, the role played by the husband.'' She starts by noting that, traditionally, ``becoming a wife was the most a woman could hope for in life whereas remaining single was more than a man could hope for,'' and she contends that most married men loathe Sundays (because it's the domesticity day). Men, Barreca says, haven't really changed much lately—for them, marriage still means bartering their freedom for ``a permanent address, regular sex, and home-cooked meals.'' Meanwhile, many men still lose interest in their wives as sex objects, seek younger wives (since women supposedly age faster than they do), and feel trapped by the sense that women like them best when they're invulnerable and evasive. And women, Barreca adds, also continue to marry for old-fashioned, unhealthy reasons—to find out who they are or to be taken care of. But ``monogamy doesn't mean loving your husband instead of yourself,'' quips the author, who goes on to say that the romantic myths that women cling to (like the Heathcliff/Linton dichotomy) prove to be inadequate equipment for real-life relationships. So what are a man and woman to do? Stop fantasizing and recognize that marriage isn't perfect, Barreca suggests. But her real purpose here isn't to prescribe or analyze deeply—it's just to hold the mirror up to marriage, which she does with good nature and her trademark wit. (Thirty-fived b&w photographs; ten line drawings)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 1993

ISBN: 0-517-59538-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harmony

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1993

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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