Monthly Archives: January 2012

Anita Brookner, “A Misalliance”

As I slogged my way through A Misalliance, I became increasingly aware of a déja vu sensation. Not only, I realized, had I read A Misalliance before — but it was this very book, read some 25 years ago, that … Continue reading

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Mary Renault, “The Friendly Young Ladies”

I grew up reading Mary Renault’s gripping historical novels about ancient Greece, especially the two Theseus novels, The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea. So I was surprised when, at the library, I found a Mary Renault … Continue reading

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Elizabeth George, “Believing the Lie”

Oh, Elizabeth George. Bravely facing the challenge of trying to both satisfy her readers — who, after all, want more of the same — and keep herself interested. Possibly bored by the narrow confines of the traditional procedural mystery, and, … Continue reading

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Julian Barnes, “Something to Declare”

I tend to think of Julian Barnes as an all-English writer but I realize, that’s probably just because he used to rather famously play tennis with Martin Amis. (So very English!) But it turns out that Barnes is Francophone and … Continue reading

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Julian Fellowes Likes Me: My “Downton Abbey” Saga Continues

I posted recently about an article in the New York Times that discussed a current publishing craze for “Downton Abbey”-themed books. My brilliant and loyal friend Fred Bernstein got incensed that To Marry an English Lord wasn’t on the list, … Continue reading

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Edith Wharton, “Old New York”

When I was talking to Pat Ryan of the New York Times about this wonderful piece in that newspaper (commemorating Mrs. Wharton’s 150th birthday on January 24), I remembered Wharton’s marvelous series of novellas called Old New York, and realized I … Continue reading

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Even More on “Downton Abbey,” This Time Adding Edith Wharton

This week I spent some time chatting with Pat Ryan of the New York Times who was assigned to write a nifty story for the New York Times about some sites in New York that were reminiscent of Edith Wharton. … Continue reading

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