RaveBooklistAlthough we are led here to believe that her literary reputation is on the rise, what veteran biographer Hastings dwells on most is the \'moveable feast\' that appeared to define Bedford’s life ... The supporting cast includes Martha Gellhorn, whose writing guidance proved important, and Richard Olney, the expatriate American who codified French cooking and wine. Drawing from previously untapped correspondence and journals, Hastings dutifully pieces it all together.
PositiveBooklistSouder, biographer of John James Audubon and Rachel Carson, draws a solid, straightforward, and mostly empathetic portrait of Steinbeck’s bootstrap-rise from rural California to cultural fame and complicated fortune ... Souder highlights Steinbeck’s little-appreciated environmental consciousness on land and sea.
PositiveThe Star TribuneAs Kerri Arsenault discovered during the making of her trenchant and aching new book, the science and practice of pollution control has been fraught with indecision, ineffectiveness, indifference and often overwhelming corporate influence ... Arsenault’s book shares a spirit with the writings of Terry Tempest Williams.
PositiveBooklistParini—biographer, novelist, poet—delivers his most unusual work ... Parini’s week with the crusty Borges included a rollicking, endearing road trip through the Scottish Highlands. Parini haltingly describes the landscape for his blind passenger, who taps his memory for a bounty of literary wisdom. Along with losing his innocence to a frisky innkeeper, Parini absorbed indelible lessons. Not least, Borges’ advice on the task of writing, \'To find a language adequate to what is revealed.\'
PositiveThe Star TribuneIn her empathetic, revealing and brisk new biography, Carol Sklenicka frames Adams’ life and work within themes of escape, redemption and persistence ... Sklenicka deftly deploys quoted bits to illustrate how the life and work are so intricately intertwined. The art of literary biography — Sklenicka previously explored Raymond Carver — thus resembles an enormous, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle ... Twenty years after her death at 72 — perhaps ironically, of heart failure — Adams’ footprint has faded. Sklenicka’s portrait may well encourage new readers and justifiably revive her reputation.