June 21, 2009
Mary McCauley opened her recent Read Street review of All the Living with these thoughts: Can a writer write too well? Can a prose style be too gorgeous? She was referring to C.E. Morgan's lush prose, which she admires. But McCauley noted that a friend was "so aware of the painterly quality of Ms. Morgan's imagery, that it interfered with her ability to immerse herself in the world of the novel." I worry about a related trend. We're so frantic to devour the Next Big Thing, or catch up on our book club pick, that we can scarcely be bothered with a book that challenges us with its style or subject matter.
November 30, 2004
Brandi Chastain's teammates called her "Hollywood" long before she ripped off her jersey to celebrate her 1999 World Cup-winning goal and kicked her own marketing potential into a new gear. Initially, the cheerfully self-promoting Chastain was ambivalent about the attention generated by a gesture she insists was unpremeditated. "So many other things were happening," she said of the soccer team's sudden ascension to pop-star status. "Why do we have to focus on this?" Five years later, Chastain acknowledges the bra is ... well, still a good hook.
September 2, 2003
On the last Sunday in June, Lt. Kylan Jones-Huffman, a Navy reservist stationed in Bahrain, e-mailed a poem to members of his online haiku group. He said he dedicated the poem to his friend Marianne, "whose good friend was killed this past week, somewhere south of Baghdad." late night call - the remains will arrive on Thursday the weather here not much different from Iraq Jones-Huffman might not have known the soldier who'd been killed, but "I'm sure I passed over the report in the daily summary," he wrote.
March 5, 2006
A Changed Man Francine Prose Harper Perennial / 421 pages / $14.95 Prose's satire concerns a purportedly reformed white supremacist who wants now to lend his services to a human rights organization. Prose "delivers a well-crafted, ironic and insightful tale of the darker side of human nature," we said last year.
August 9, 1993
Henry Lee, 82, legendary New York Daily News rewrite man whose snappy, lucid prose illuminated most of the major stories of half a century, died Friday of cancer in Sudbury, Mass. Born in Bridgeport, Conn., Mr. Lee started his writing career as editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper. From that point on, and except for the years he attended Harvard University (Class of '34), he was writing for newsprint -- he worked for the Bridgeport Times-Star, the Bridgeport Post, the New York World-Telegram and, from 1946 to 1979, The Daily News.