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Jayne Anne Phillips

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September 4, 1994 | RICHARD EDER
"The forest is all around us and we're like a country inside it," Alma Swenson writes home from her Girl Guides summer in the West Virginia mountains. Her older sister, Lenny, tells herself: "Nothing from home belonged here; home would take it all away." Camp Shelter is, among other things, a camp.
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June 5, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, Special to the Los Angeles Times
To Be Sung Underwater A Novel Tom McNeal Little, Brown: 436 pp., $24.99 You can often tell where a musician has trained or with whom a painter has learned technique. In the case of the European masters, art historians looking at a particular work can often trace the lineage to a region, a studio, a teacher. It is no different for literature — you get a whiff of John McPhee in the descriptive passages here, a bit of Ron Carlson in the mysterious interplay of humans and landscapes there, a smidgeon of Jayne Anne Phillips in the historic context, a taste of Raymond Carver in the curveballs or Gordon Lish's tough-love New York workshop style in the sentence structure or the lack of sentiment.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, Special to the Los Angeles Times
To Be Sung Underwater A Novel Tom McNeal Little, Brown: 436 pp., $24.99 You can often tell where a musician has trained or with whom a painter has learned technique. In the case of the European masters, art historians looking at a particular work can often trace the lineage to a region, a studio, a teacher. It is no different for literature — you get a whiff of John McPhee in the descriptive passages here, a bit of Ron Carlson in the mysterious interplay of humans and landscapes there, a smidgeon of Jayne Anne Phillips in the historic context, a taste of Raymond Carver in the curveballs or Gordon Lish's tough-love New York workshop style in the sentence structure or the lack of sentiment.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2009 | Susan Salter Reynolds
Falling in love with a writer requires commitment; the long haul, thick and thin. They get old, you get old. The relationship waxes and wanes. Most readers can recall times of perfect synchronicity -- when the book was the necessary enzyme, the catalyst, the missing piece. "Black Tickets," Jayne Anne Phillips' first collection of stories, published in 1979, was, for more than one earnest English major, such a book.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2009 | Susan Salter Reynolds
Falling in love with a writer requires commitment; the long haul, thick and thin. They get old, you get old. The relationship waxes and wanes. Most readers can recall times of perfect synchronicity -- when the book was the necessary enzyme, the catalyst, the missing piece. "Black Tickets," Jayne Anne Phillips' first collection of stories, published in 1979, was, for more than one earnest English major, such a book.
BOOKS
April 19, 1987 | Richard Eder
Even though her ear for numb and displaced American voices is as sharp as that of any of her fellow writers, Jayne Anne Phillips does not, like the cooler practitioners, turn her stories entirely over to them. She has a middle distance. She doesn't rule her characters, as in older styles of short-story writing. But she doesn't leave them by themselves, either. The reader senses a listener as well as a voice.
BOOKS
May 21, 2000 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS
"Black Tickets" and "Machine Dreams," just two of Jayne Anne Phillips' books written decades ago, were path breaking and passing strange. Both dispensed entirely with the traditional chapter and narrative, not to mention the traditional domestic subjects written about by women and published by men. They were violent and angry and sad, adamantly punctuated, spare. And here she is, my childhood hero, writing a novel that is equally strange because of its very plainness and simplicity.
NEWS
August 1, 1996
I applaud Kelvin Christopher James' brashness and his efforts to get his work before the public ("He Takes a Lot of Pride in His Fling With a Demon Lover," July 23). More writers should do the same. However, when he lets his ego fly and tells us his writing is "superior to anyone else in America right now," I'd like to remind him of a few names, since he sounds like someone who doesn't read much: Jayne Anne Phillips, Toni Morrison, Peter Mathiessen, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Caputo, Lucia Berlin and Dorothy Allison.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2009 | Nick Owchar
Books about Henry Ford and Cornelius Vanderbilt are among the finalists for the 2009 National Book Award, which the National Book Foundation announced Wednesday. In nonfiction, finalists are David M. Carroll's "Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebook," Sean B. Carroll's "Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species," Adrienne Mayor's "The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy," T.J. Stiles' "The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt" and Greg Grandin's "Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City."
BOOKS
July 27, 1997 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS, Susan Salter Reynolds is an assistant editor of Book Review
Amy Hempel careens around the lives of wealthy people like one of those little cameras they set loose on the moon. Her snapshots are barely recognizable snippets of conversation, architectural details and shrapnel from family disasters.
BOOKS
May 21, 2000 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS
"Black Tickets" and "Machine Dreams," just two of Jayne Anne Phillips' books written decades ago, were path breaking and passing strange. Both dispensed entirely with the traditional chapter and narrative, not to mention the traditional domestic subjects written about by women and published by men. They were violent and angry and sad, adamantly punctuated, spare. And here she is, my childhood hero, writing a novel that is equally strange because of its very plainness and simplicity.
BOOKS
September 4, 1994 | RICHARD EDER
"The forest is all around us and we're like a country inside it," Alma Swenson writes home from her Girl Guides summer in the West Virginia mountains. Her older sister, Lenny, tells herself: "Nothing from home belonged here; home would take it all away." Camp Shelter is, among other things, a camp.
BOOKS
April 19, 1987 | Richard Eder
Even though her ear for numb and displaced American voices is as sharp as that of any of her fellow writers, Jayne Anne Phillips does not, like the cooler practitioners, turn her stories entirely over to them. She has a middle distance. She doesn't rule her characters, as in older styles of short-story writing. But she doesn't leave them by themselves, either. The reader senses a listener as well as a voice.
BOOKS
March 6, 1994 | ERIKA TAYLOR
LISTENING TO OURSELVES: Stories From The Sound of Writing edited by Alan Cheuse and Caroline Marshall (Anchor Books: $12; 296 pp.) Short story anthologies like car dashboards are not always built with the user in mind. On the surface, putting together a selection of pieces read on the popular NPR show, "The Sound of Writing," is a great idea, and the resulting anthology, "Listening To Ourselves," does in many respects work well.
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