MixedThe New York Times Book Review\"Land’s memoir is not particularly artful. The narration advances with some circularity; the language is often stale. But her book has the needed quality of reversing the direction of the gaze ... Land survived the hardship of her years as a maid, her body exhausted and her brain filled with bleak arithmetic, to offer her testimony. It’s worth listening to.\
PositiveBookforum\"The exhaustive reports on furniture, cooking, renovations, and real estate aren’t thrilling, but neither are they boring, being possessed of a kind of homely tactile truth that is revealing and hypnotic in its way ... On occasion, the mundane stories suggest a kind of unsettling foreknowledge ... Most notable among the many hundreds of pages of this volume, however, are fourteen previously unpublished letters addressed to Plath’s analyst, Dr. Ruth Beuscher ... There is a kind of gusto to unhappiness of a high order, a sublimity to the utter depths. In many places, these late letters share the imperious frankness and throaty rage of the poems that made Plath’s name[.]
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewDiligently reporting on the troubles facing \'Middle Precariat\' families, Quart doesn’t offer much that is news ... What is perhaps unusual about Quart’s book is her attention to how we feel about it — specifically our peculiar willingness to take personal responsibility for problems that are not our fault ... Quart has tried to write a book that is not uniformly depressing, and at the end of some chapters she describes ways people have attempted to better their situations with unconventional arrangements.
David Foster Wallace
PositiveThe MillionsCertainly Wallace had set himself a problem masochistic or quixotic in its difficulty: how to write an interesting novel about that byword for tedium, the IRS? And how to write a religious novel–which is what The Pale King is, in its preoccupation with grace, illumination, and purpose–about the most disenchanted and secular of professions, namely accounting? … Wallace wants us to see what the examiners, at the height of their boredom, can’t, quite: the relation of the human skeleton to the bureaucratic thumb bone turning the page … The book’s inconclusiveness keeps alive his questions, and ours, in a way a completed work wouldn’t.