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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

Not about weight loss and how to achieve it

I wrote Fat Girl because I'd read books that other fat women wrote about how they were fat. Most fat women didn't write the truth about fat. They didn't write about fat fat fat 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

Risk sentiment. Offer hope. Go down deeper. Make believe you have only six months, or three, to live.

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

Lesbian and American royalty

FROM THE DUST JACKET: A cigar-smoking proponent of free-verse modernism in open rebellion against her distinguished Boston lineage, Amy Lowell (1874-1925) cut an indelible public figure. But in the words of editor Honor Moore, "What ...

Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954

He read Dostoevsky, Celine, Mark Twain, and Tolstoy to get his own voice.

FROM THE DUST JACKET: Jack Kerouac is best known through the image he put forth in his autobiographical novels. Yet it is only in his private journals, in which he catalogued his innermost feelings, that ...

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

Why did he hate Gore Vidal so much?

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 ...

Russell Banks' The Darling

Author of Cloudsplitter and Continental Drift

“I was in Sierra Leone, right next door, and in its history bears the same relationship to England that Liberia bears to the United States. That was when the bodies started piling up in Monrovia.”

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 ...

Spring's hero

Heart gives hope.

Someone I look up to once told me I should always try to write as if I were writing to someone who had six months to live. Think of your reader, I was told, as ...

Spring's hero-

He said he wasn’t scared of the man. He was annoyed by the man’s urinating up against his house, because his bed is right above the vines in which the man has been sleeping.

Art Is Slow

Lê Thi Diem Thúy’s The Gangster We Are All Looking For - life as Vietnamese boat person come to San Diego.

“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, ...

Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie

Drieser is his era's Tom Wolfe

Frank Doubleday, in Europe at the time Norris bought Dreiser’s novel, on his return home read the manuscript and hated it. Not only did Doubleday not wish to publish it, he thought it filthy and morally wanting.

Frost, Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Tolstoy, Hemingway, James Joyce


Robert Penn Warren’s “Function of Blizzard” - back when I lived where snow fell every winter, a friend and I, on the occasion of the year’s first snow, would get together to recite this poem.

Bram Dijkstra, American Expressionism

Art you probably won't know

The Roberts Book Company on Canal Street reputedly paid the junkman S55 for the canvases. Soon “piles of unstretched canvases and large sheets of mural cartoons, began to greet the surprised visitors to the Roberts Book Company.

The Art of Burning Bridges

An interview with Geoffrey Wolff

The Art of Burning Bridges Alfred A. Knopf, 2003; 373 pages; $30 FROM THE DUST JACKET: An enigma of 20th-century literature — a writer accorded great importance in his time, if less than in his ...

Geoffrey Wolff, The Art of Burning Bridges

Biography of John O'Hara- a nine-year project

One of the most pleasurable aspects of Geoffrey Wolff’s O’Hara biography is the voice. I said, “It’s a confiding voice, as if we were on some country weekend, in the mid-1930s, before the start of World War II.

Fried Butter by Abe Opincar

"A way for me to take control"

"I sent them to Juris Jurjevics at Soho Press in New York. He’d been James Baldwin’s editor at Dial Press. Juris is respected in New York as an ambassador from a more thoughtful, writerly era in publishing."

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.

“She told me stories that revolved around Point Loma Nazarene University. Eric’s mother’s mother first met Paramhansa Yogananda. Eric’s mom also met him, and she said he was the sexiest man who ever lived."

Pat Conroy, My Losing Season

From the author of The Great Santini and Prince of Tides

"My mother read to us every night of my childhood. My becoming a writer in part was because of that. You should have seen how my mother would become rapturous when she read a book she loved."

The only kangaroo among the beauty

Local profs know more about Emily Dickinson than you think

"Luria Sukenick, professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State, refused to teach Dickinson because of the horrible things that students say. She was upset by the things that people said about Dickinson’s poems."

Paul Auster, The Book of Illusions

Holderin, Chateaubriand, and much more

"I think Chateaubriand is the only man who met both George Washington and Napoleon. He came to the United States and wrote about Niagara Falls. He may be the first person who described the falls for a European audience."

Francine Prose, The Lives of the Muses

Elizabeth Siddall, Lady Caroline Blackwood, Yoko Ono

Why Rossetti asked that Siddal’s body be exhumed was that, in a melodramatic gesture, he’d tossed into her coffin the manuscript of his poems. When he decided he wanted the manuscript back, he had the body dug up.

The Black Veil by Rick Moody

A visit to a psychiatric hospital

"1 really wanted to try and get a pure sensation of what it felt like to have the thing on, to feel that that was the only recourse, was to wear this thing, to be driven to wear it.”

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 ...

The man who lived in the town with the funny name

Max Miller on La Jolla

Eileen Jackson's daughter, Jerry Williamson, told me that her father had once said that Miller had “the soul of a poet.” Mrs. Williamson confessed that when she was a child Miller terrified her.

Janet Malcolm on Chekhov

Reading Chekhov, a Critical Journey

As I read Chekhov stories about which Ms. Malcolm wrote, that I began to feel that these subtle stories, which on the last page often seem to evanesce rather than conclude, are wasted on the young.

V.S. Naipaul's Half a LIfe

My work is full of jokes.

As for Naipaul's willingness to talk with me, he said, in his beautifully modulated voice, “It’s not correct for a person of my stature to appear on a giveaway sheet. It’s not right. It’s not right.”

Duff Brenna: The Altar of the Body

From one narrator to the next

The Altar of the Body opens with George sitting on his porch on a hot day in Medicine Lake, Minnesota. He watches a man push a Lincoln Continental. “It’s an old car, a four-door boater, champagne-colored.…”

Savage Beauty: the Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Plus The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay

“Millay was the generation of my grandmother, so when you begin the biography of someone of this age, you realize the people you need to interview who are living may not be living a great deal longer."

Mark Halperin's Greatest Hits

Plus Near and Far, Time as Distance

“You’re living in two worlds. You’re living in a public one, and you believe it, you believe that the Russians are your enemies. And you’re living in a private world where this Russian is the father you love.”

The Voice of the Poet by J.D. McClatchy

Including John Ashbery, W.H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Randall Jarrell, Robert Lowell, James Merrill, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton

And T.S. Eliot, I remember his giving a reading at the University of Michigan, and the entire football stadium was filled to hear him speak. Eliot had that kind of celebrity. He had a kind of authority.

Sam Sifton's Field Guide to the Yettie

A product of comic sociology

“Going from New York Press to Talk was a bit like going from the St. Ann’s School to the Collegiate School. At New York Press you could pretty much wear whatever you want.

Cherry by Mary Karr

A sequel to The Liars Club

“It’s funny, too. The people I really wanted to meet were writers. I had some notion of meeting Flannery O’Connor, you know, or even now, I imagine meeting Cormac McCarthy. Writers were my heroes.”

George Packer's Blood of the Liberals

Crypto history of 20th Century America

“Liberalism went from being populist to being corporate, from being Jeffersonian to being New Deal. And it had its greatest successes, and it also had its greatest defeat, as a result of that change."

What He Is, Is Dead

O, Papa, how I wish you were here to kiss my cheek and call me Kitten.

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. ...

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