Hiding in Plain Sight: Essays in Criticism and Autobiography

Wendy Lesser, Author, Wendy Lesser, Editor
Wendy Lesser, Author, Wendy Lesser, Editor Mercury House $21.95 (344p) ISBN 978-1-56279-037-0
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These 30 essays from the Threepenny Review are a rich cornucopia of fresh ideas, experiences and perspectives. Harold Brodkey interprets Jane Austen as the inventor of ``an imagined public space'' which writers from Flaubert to Whitman have extended. Elizabeth Hardwick presents Gertrude Stein as a forerunner of minimalism. Thom Gunn recalls his friendship with spiritual seeker Christopher Isherwood. Susan Sontag decodes the gestures of Japanese puppet theater. Also here are Leonard Michaels on Rita Hayworth's mythic power, Amy Tan on English as spoken in immigrant families, Christopher Ricks on Bob Dylan's lyrics, plus Gore Vidal, Diane Johnson, John Berger. Especially impressive are Lars Eighner's autobiographical account of being homeless, W. S. DiPiero's lapidary jottings on modern painters, Irene Oppenheim's tangy reminiscence of waitressing in L.A., Greil Marcus's sociopolitical analysis of The Manchurian Candidate , Natalie Kusz's recollection of her near-fatal childhood accident in Alaska. Lesser, who edits Threepenny Review , has assembled an exhilarating miscellany. (July)
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