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Stories by Judith Moore

Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London

Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London. W.W. Norton, 2005; 314 pages; $24.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Mary Lamb -- a dutiful daughter, well liked by just about everyone -- killed her own ...

Wrong About Japan: A Father's Journey with His Son

Wrong About Japan: A Father's Journey with His Son. Alfred A. Knopf, 2005; 158 pages; $17.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: The recipient of two Booker Prizes, Peter Carey expands his extraordinary achievement with each new ...

Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith

Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith. Crown Publishers, 2005; 320 pages; $24.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: In a thoughtful examination of faith, Martha Beck chronicles her decision to leave ...

Fat Girl: A True Story

Fat Girl: A True Story. Hudson Street Press, a member of Penguin Group USA, Inc.; 2005; 196 pages; $21.95. WHY I WROTE FAT GIRL: I wrote Fat Girl because I'd read books that other fat ...

February House: The Story of W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Wartime America

February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof In Wartime America. North Point Press, 2005; 166 pages; $22. FROM THE ...

In Fond Remembrance of Me: A Memoir of Myth and Uncommon Friendship in the Arctic

In Fond Remembrance of Me: A Memoir of Myth and Uncommon Friendship in the Arctic FROM THE DUST JACKET: Howard Norman spent the fall of 1977 in Churchill, Manitoba, translating into English two dozen "Noah ...

Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood

Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood. Ballantine Books; 2005; 309 pages; $23. FROM THE DUST JACKET: "We're born in blood. Our family histories are contained in it, our bodies nourished by it ...

American Writers at Home

American Writers at Home. Text by J.D. McClatchy; Photographs by Erica Lennard; Library of America and The Vendome Press, 2004; 224 pages; $50. FROM THE DUST JACKET: American Writers at Home affords an unprecedented opportunity ...

Bound for Freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America

Bound for Freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America (George Gund Foundation Imprint in African American Studies). University of California Press; January 2005; 472 pp.; $29.95 FROM THE DUST JACKET: Paul Bontemps decided to ...

GI Jews

GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation. Harvard University Press; 368 pages; $25.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Whether they came from Sioux Falls or the Bronx, over half a million Jews entered the ...

Pink Steam

Pink Steam. Suspect Thoughts Press, 2004; 190 pages; $16.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Pink steam rises from the vats of melting goo in the Vincent Price 3-D horror classic, House of Wax. Railroad buffs know ...

Open House: Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons, and the Search for a Room of My Own

Open House: Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons, and the Search for a Room of My Own. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 272 pages; $24. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Open House gathers observations, reminiscences, anecdotes, and ...

Books That Help You Survive Christmas

Dust of Snow The way a crow Shook down on me The dust of snow From a hemlock tree Has given my heartA change of mood And saved some partOf a day I had rued. ...

Christmas Letters

Christmas letters. I don't know their history, who first wrote one, or where and why. I suspect they began to be written in the I Love Lucy Eisenhower years when all Americans, even though in ...

Amy Lowell: Selected Poems

Amy Lowell: Selected Poems. Edited and Selected and with an Introduction by Honor Moore Library of America, 2004; 156 pages; $20. FROM THE DUST JACKET: A cigar-smoking proponent of free-verse modernism in open rebellion against ...

Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954

Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954. Edited and with an introduction by Douglas Brinkley; Viking Books, 2004; 387 pages; $25.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Jack Kerouac is best known through the image he ...

Spirit and Flesh: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church

Spirit and Flesh: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church. Alfred A. Knopf, 2004; 435 pages; $27.95. FROM THE DUST JACKET: In an attempt to understand the growing influence of the Christian Right, sociologist and documentary ...

Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote

FROM THE DUST JACKET: Truman Capote was hailed as one of the most meticulous writers in American letters — a part of the Capote mystique is that his precise writing seemed to exist apart from ...

A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader's Reflections on a Year of Books

A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader's Reflections on a Year of Books. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004; 208 pages; $20. FROM THE DUST JACKET: While traveling in Calgary, Alberto Manguel was struck by how the ...

Inner Voices and Paper Trail

Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003 Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004. 420 pages; $35. Paper Trail: Selected Prose, 1965-2003 446 pages; $35. FROM THE DUST JACKET: Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003: The poems of Pulitzer Prize-winner ...

Wild Nights

Karl, of course, was into blood sports. I learned a lot from him about that world of anonymous sex and violence.” “Karl” is Karl Keller, for 20 years a professor in San Diego State’s English ...

Art is Slow

“Linda Vista, with its rows of yellow houses, is where we eventually washed to shore. Before Linda Vista, we lived in the Green Apartment on Thirtieth and Adams, in Normal Heights. Before the Green Apartment, ...

Kafka's Last Love

“It’s been a long and difficult journey,” I said, “from Sun Up San Diego to Kafka’s Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant.” “I know,” said former KFMB-TV Sun Up cohost Kathi Diamant, the author ...

He Turns out Hometown Heroes

When Ken Kuhlken’s not writing, he gets angry.

No local writer is more local than Ken Kuhlken. Born in Mercy Hospital on September 4, 1945, while celebrations for World War II’s end were still in progress, Kuhlken only rarely and for short periods ...

A Tall Steeple Pastor Confronts His Fall

Solana Beach Presbyterian Church members felt hurt and betrayed and outraged and surprised when they learned that for more than ten years their former pastor, a trim and handsome married man, had been sexually intimate ...

What He Is, Is Dead

Dead, dead, dead is what I think now when I think, “Father.” My father’s dead. My father’s underground. More than a decade, my father’s moldered. His big belly’s deflated. His big belly’s dust and rubble. ...

When Everything Was Lost

Tragedy pays a call on Bompensiero.

I don’t know how in the first months of 1955 Frank Bompensiero managed to get himself out of bed to face the day. I don’t know how he slept at night. Frank and Thelma and ...

A Fateful Check at the U.S. Grant

Bompensiero as bagman.

When 44-year-old Frank Bompensiero awakened at 5878 Estelle Street on the first morning of a new decade, he must have felt optimistic. He must have felt hopeful. He padded on his bare size-ten feet into ...

I Wasn't There to Hold the Candle, So I Don't Know

Why did Bopensiero come West?

Frank Bompensiero jumped off a freight train in San Diego in the early 1920s. He was 16 or 17 or perhaps even 18 years old. He was five feet, six inches tall. He had hazel ...

Shot in the Dark

How a killer met his fate.

Some evening soon, drive out to Pacific Beach. Be there about 8:15. The sun will have been down several hours. Across the sky every last orange and violet streak will be gone. Take a jacket. ...

Maximize Profits, Lock Up Teens

Christy Scheck, on March 6, 1992, a Friday evening, walked into a bathroom in Southwood Psychiatric Center's Residential Treatment Center in Chula Vista (now called Bayview and under new management). Thirteen-year-old Scheck had been a ...

Goodbye in the Morning

I remember breakfast tables from my earliest childhood; sunshine spills across a blue-checked tablecloth stiff with starch and fresh air. Cut-glass bowls hold jelly and jam. The Concord grape and strawberry wriggle, seem to live ...

Savage Breast

For the cook, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner can be an ordeal.

Our domesticated turkey had its begin­nings in a sleek, dark-meated bird, long of leg and neck. with iridescent bronze plumage. In the pre-Columbian era, some ten million of these birds flew through forests from southern ...

Slow Animals

The ripe, round, red tomato sitting on your kitchen table is alive and busy. While you or I am asking, “How shall I eat it?” the tomato is huffing and puffing, sending signals throughout its ...

When Any Old Book Won't Do...

A common approach to getting through holidays is reading one after another off-the-rack crime novels. You’re hardly caring what’s on the page, anxious only not to be left alone with your own terrible thoughts. You ...

Purses Hold More Than You Think

My mother’s purse could not be opened without permission. Even granted that permission, asked perhaps to retrieve her glasses, I averted my eyes and searched for her glasses with my hand blind as a mole ...

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

As a child stirring mud and as an adult, sifting flour and blending in shortening, nothing has seemed as intriguing to make and to contemplate as pie. Its filling sequestered beneath a canopy of top ...

Where the Grapes of Wrath are Stored

Writing history while it’s happening

The Southwest was Paradise Lost. California was Paradise Regained, an alter-Eden. From rutted, dustblown land outside Tulsa, Little Rock, and Topeka, California appeared epic and opulent: orange groves, vineyards, an eternal now of seasonless calm. Just to dig your heels into El Centro, into Bakersfield soil could change your life, turn your luck.

Steinbeck's Defender

San Diego State University professor Jackson J. Benson worked on his meticulous, detailed 1116- page Steinbeck biography, The True Adventures of John Steinbeck, Writer, for 15 years, some one-quarter of his life. He tells, in Looking for Steinbeck’s Ghost, of needing to carry a towel in his car, in order to wipe nervous perspiration from his face before he knocked on doors behind which interview subjects waited.

John Steinbeck was my father

"Correctly suspecting he had given birth to a petty thief, my father encouraged me to read by locking in a leaded glass-front bookcase books that he thought were essential. Needless to say, I learned to read rapidly."

We write what we say, we think what we darn well please

The camps published weekly newspapers — Migratory Clipper, Pea Pickers Prairie, The Tow Sack Tattler. Beneath the disclaimer, “Neither the Farm Security Administration, nor its employees accept ‘Editorial Responsibility,’ the papers were written and edited by the migrants and typed onto stencils and mimeographed.

Her Little Girl

When Sunday school was over, I said, to no one in particular, “I have to go downstairs to church to meet my parents.” It wasn’t true. It just felt good to say it. I like ...

Connie's Story

For Cookie, Cha-Cha, Cindy, Mary, Carol, Jean, Nita, and pregnant Connie, the San Diego Zoological Society’s first Asian elephant mother-to-be, it was just another elephant day at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Soon after ...

The Second Oldest Profession

“So, why you want to write about a pimp, girl?” “I need money.” We’d met through a friend of a friend of an acquaintance of a friend. He was 31 years old and had been ...

The Mystery of the Putnam Sisters

Amy, Anne, and Irene. “If anyone tells you they knew them, they’re lying,” one longtime San Diegan says, when asked about the late Putnam sisters. The wealthy, reclusive spinsters went to and from their Hillcrest ...

Blue Law Sundays

A gray-haired man says, “On any Sunday 50 years ago you could stand at one end of Main Street and you wouldn’t see a soul except the town dog.” He, his wife, and I are ...

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