October 12, 2003 |
British novelist Hilary Mantel's strange and compelling memoir, "Giving Up the Ghost," spans half a century, from her early childhood in a small town on the fringes of England's rugged Peak District to the present. But rather than being a comprehensive account of the many facets of its author's eventful, productive and interesting life, "Giving Up the Ghost" focuses on two highly perplexing and troubling aspects of it.
June 1, 2003 |
The 21st century is not starting well: terrorism of an unprecedented brutality and scale, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, trillions of dollars poured into high-tech armaments, old conflicts festering and new ones springing up in the most unusual places, failed states run by contending warlords, crumbling international institutions and sudden animosities breaking up old allies. The dream of post-totalitarian, post-Cold War harmony has long faded away.
November 13, 2000 |
American women fear breast cancer. But surveys show they don't always do everything they can to minimize their risk of dying from it. This book by medical geneticist Patricia Kelly is an outstanding attempt to alter these conflicting forces. Kelly provides one of the most understandable and comprehensive explanations I've seen on why most women need not be afraid of the disease. She does this while encouraging prevention strategies such as regular mammograms after age 40 and breast self-exams.
October 23, 2000 |
Ruth Picardie, a writer and an editor, invited a nation along on her losing fight with breast cancer, and millions followed through her columns in England's Observer Life magazine. For those who never read those marvelously witty, funny and disarmingly frank looks at coping with approaching death, her husband has brought them together in this slim volume, along with her e-mails to friends and correspondence from readers touched by her writing.
April 27, 2000 |
A monster. A coward. Conceited, supercilious, arrogant, a hypocrite, self-delusional. Heartless. With these words, the Sunday Times of London recently fired another stabbing broadside at the just-deceased British novelist Patrick O'Brian. On his home soil, the once-obscure, then celebrated O'Brian has not been treated kindly--not in the final two years leading up to his death in Dublin in January and not in the weeks since.
August 25, 1997 |
Suppose Anne Frank's diary didn't end with her arrest by the Nazis. Suppose, in Bergen-Belsen, she was able to have a further record of her experiences smuggled outside the barbed wire. Suppose these pages (scribbled, let's say, with the stub of a pencil on toilet paper and torn up camp posters) survived, unlike their youthful author.