RaveThe San Francisco ChronicleI said that I enjoyed this book for all the wrong reasons, and what I mean is that I found in it a character far more compelling than its title’s subject. Jackson’s husband was the literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, and he emerges as a dazzlingly charismatic blend of boor and genius ... [Franklin] is very good clearing up the line between straight memoir and fiction, though what is autobiographical about Jackson’s work is more often feeling than fact ... Much of Jackson’s writing is a weird, rich brew, and Franklin captures its savor. I may have been captivated by Stanley Hyman’s personality, but after this biography, I will go back and read Jackson herself.
PositiveThe San Francisco ChronicleHere is Ozick’s real genius. She transforms one metaphor into another — the thread becomes the bright ribbon of feeling ... reading Ozick’s elegance, wit and sublime confidence makes me realize that these are the qualities that academic criticism sorely lacks. It often remains confrontational, angry, guilt-tripping and self-regarding ... Ozick should be permitted her biases. She is a product of her time and place — a time and place that treasured finely honed gifts of reading and the ability to turn cultural history into a bright ribbon of feeling.