Parker & Hellman/Aging Boomers/Poet Protests/Unblocking Smiley/Five Great Writers/Galoshes Writer

March 25, 2006

Parker and Hellman
bloglogo4.jpgIn a Book Forum essay called “Estate of Mind,” Marion Meade writes of the relationship between Dorothy Parker and Lillian Hellman—even after Parker’s death, which made Hellman the executor of Parker’s copyrights that were willed to the NAACP.

Aging Boomers and Their Characters
When she wrote Fear of Flying, Erica Jung wasn’t afraid of getting old, but old she got. In an interview with Bob Minzesheimer of USA Today, she is claiming a literary high ground: “She notes American fiction lacks female characters in their 50s or 60s who are ‘attractive, sexy, and alive. I’d like to claim that territory.’” Or could it be she is defining a sub-genre of chic-lit?

Poet Protests Iraqi War
“Poet Roger McGough has pulled out of a gala concert in honor of U.S. Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice amid protests by anti-war campaigners.” That’s the word from a Press Association blurb that appeared recently in the Guardian.

The Unblocking of Smiley
With the number of works produced by Jane Smiley, one might presume she never encouraged writer’s block. She hadn’t—until a few years ago. She sat one morning in 2001 to write her novel Good Faith and she “ahd wandered into a dark wood. [She] didn’t know the way out. [She] was afraid.” But escape she did.

Five Great Writers and Why?
Lately I have wondered about the future of writing. It’s a problem when teaching English to non-English majors. They don’t read. If the future has no readers, then what of literature. Then Professor Arnold Weinstein, more rightly, his book Recovering Your Story: Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison rescued me. Aside from writing about five of my favorite writers, he explains how and why everyone should read them.

The Galoshes Writer
“Deep down, [Bernard] Malamud was a galoshes kind of guy,” says his daughter Janna Malamud Smith in her My Father Is a Book: a Memoir of Bernard Malamud.


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