Between the 17th and 19th centuries, ukiyo-e was one of the most influential artistic styles in Japan. Composed of woodblock prints and traditional painting, typical scenes included historical events, folk stories, beautiful women and the rigors of daily life.
It’s always a little worrisome when a reporter prefaces a book-length, on-the-ground account of real events with the qualifier, “I would need to be a novelist to write a better truth than these glimpses offer.”
Slowly but surely, the ranks of the rabid Nixon haters are thinning, to be replaced by more thoughtful and temperate writers and historians, free from the fierce ideological biases of the last century, able to look at Richard Nixon’s accomplishments as well as his failures, and to examine the man himself without the intense personal rancor of an earlier ideological era.
In the early 1970s, one of my English Literature professors liked to use “Describe the houses in the novels we have read this semester and their significance” as an exam question.
Isabel Dalhousie philosophizes the way some people drink. There is nothing that she won’t contemplate, analyze or nitpick, from meerkats in the zoo to the difference between a good submarine (the crew doesn’t swear or drink) and a bad submarine which of course must be nuclear.
“Bennington Girls Are Easy” has a title and cover that scream “chick-lit,” but author Charlotte Silver has written a novel that is more than that. Her chicks, Cassandra Puffin and Sylvie Furst, start out as excited, ditzy, newly minted alums of Bennington College trying to make it in New York.
The Russian aristocrat born Maria Ignatievna Zakrevskaya in 1892 but known to posterity as Baroness Moura Budberg once said that when a famous palmist gave her a reading at the behest of Aldous Huxley, “the woman had declared, ‘Your life is more interesting than you are.’ ”