Iâ€™ve often thought that being famous must be a horrible burden. There would be the fun bits, of course, but thereâ€™s a definite downside: the psycho fans, the paparazzi, and the fact that every little thing you do could potentially end up on the cover of National Enquirer. But perhaps whatâ€™s even worse than being famous is tasting fame and then fading into complete obscurity.
Rick Bassâ€™s novel Nashville Chrome is a fictionalized account of the Browns: Maxine. Jim Ed, and Bonnie. At the height of their fame, this singing trio was second only to Elvis, and even the Beatles shared a few jam sessions with their idols. Have you ever heard of the Browns? I hadnâ€™t, and Iâ€™ll admit that I was some way into the novel before it dawned on me that this is a story of very real and very forgotten people.
Martha McPhee is the real deal. DEAR MONEY is engrossing, intelligent, playful, and timely. And it would be a shame if it did not get the high readership it deserves.
In this Pygmalion tale of novelist turned bond trader, India Palmer is — well, very much like the author herself. She’s a critically acclaimed writer of four books and has just completed her fifth. She and her husband — a gifted but not-so-rich sculptor — are close friends with a wealthy couple who live luxuriously in NYC’s tony Tribeca area. In India’s attempt to “keep up with the Joneses,” she discovers that “one goes broke in a thousand small ways: birthday presents, house presents; ballet classes; lessons in general; theater subscriptions…dinners out…”
Ginnah Howard’s NIGHT NAVIGATION is a powerful and unflinching novel about drug addiction and mental illness. It is beautifully written in a terse and spare style that is both rich and evocative. The narrative reminded me of the music of Erik Satie or the pizzicato violin in the andante movement of Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto. The writing is that beautiful and melodic. It made me rise out of myself into the world that Ms. Howard has created.
In Elinor Lipman’s THE FAMILY MAN, Henry Archer is a recently retired and unattached attorney who happens to be gay. Henry has a shallow, self-centered, and grating ex-wife, Denise, whose third husband, Glenn Krouch, recently passed away at the age of seventy. All of a sudden, Denise tries to weasel her way back into Henry’s good graces.
When the Author, the otherwise unnamed main character of Amos Ozâ€™s newest work, arrives at a literary evening at the Shunia Shor Community Center in Tel Aviv as the special guest, he expects the usual sorts of questions from his audience. What his audience never suspects is that the author, while answering their sometimes intrusive questions about himself, is secretly inventing names and imaginary lives for them…