Bet You Missed It--What do eating disorders and strong women have in common?
Bet You Missed It--W hat do eating disorders and strong women have in common?
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Column Editor: bruce Strauch (The Citadel)
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YUM! EATING DISORDERS by Bruce Strauch (The Citadel)
Molly Keane, Good Behaviour (1981) (Catch that ‘u’? Anglo-Irish
aristocrat with anorexic mum who eats in rebellion. And roast woodcock
with blood leaking onto the toast.); (2) hilary Mantel, An Experiment
in Love (1995) (anorexia at the University of London); (3) Caroline
blackwood, The Stepdaughter (1976) (mean stepmother with daughter
who eats cake-mix cakes); (4) junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of
Oscar Wao (2007) (horny, binge-eating college boy from the Dominican
diaspora); (5) Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing (1950) (Southern
Rhodesia, anorexia, and sexual tension).
See — bee Wilson, “Five Best,” The Wall Street Journal, Feb.
13-14, 2016, p. C10 (Wilson is the author of First Bite: How We Learn
THE RETURN OF BRITISH FOR-PAY LIBRARIES by Bruce Strauch (The Citadel)
bromley house Library is a quiet haven in a Grade II-listed Geor
gian house in the center of Nottingham, England. It’s having its 200th
anniversary as a subscription library. The cost is £96/year. You can
drink coffee and read in a quiet corner rather like a club.
The Public Libraries Act of 1850 (yes, it’s that old) largely replaced
the subscription ones with local government free libraries.
But now they’re back in popularity.
The first one was the Leadhill Miners Library in
Lanarkshire founded in 1741 by 21 miners, a minister and a
schoolmaster. Other famous ones are the Portico Library
in Manchester, the Leeds Library, and the birmingham
and Midlands institute. The Liverpool Athenaeum is the
priciest at £795/year.
Heritage and history value is a huge draw.
Plus, I would imagine, no derelicts, Internet smut and
noisy children doesn’t hurt.
See — Standish Shoker, “The fall and rise of subscription libraries,” BBC News, April, 10, 2016
LET’S READ ABOUT STRONG WOMEN by Bruce Strauch (The Citadel)
Stacy Schiff, Cleopatra: A Life (no beauty [they say] but irresistible
sex appeal) (2010); (2) Cokie Roberts, Capital Dames (19th century;
women with strong lungs and whalebone corsets hectoring Lincoln et
al) (2015); (3) jane godall, In the Shadow of Man (jane and the apes
of course) (1971); (4) Linda Fairstein, Devil’s Bridge (fiction: feisty
prosecutor Alexandra Cooper) (2015); (5) jim benton, The Frandidate
(humorous fiction: Franny is a kid and a mad scientist) (2008).
See — Lesley Stahl, “Five Best,” The Wall Street Journal, April
8-9, 2016. p.C16. (Lesley is correspondent for “60 Minutes” and
author of Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New
PADDYWHACKERY by Bruce Strauch (The Citadel)
Her detractors call it Celtic Disneyland and the garden equivalent of
Lucky Charms. But Mary Reynolds has multiple fans and is famous for upending the garden establishment with subversive designs evoking mystical Irish landscapes.
Her new book The Garden Awakening is a hot seller on Amazon
and her biopic Dare to be Wild won an audience prize at the Dublin
international Film Festival .
Her first creation was inspired by the W.b. Yeats poem “The Stolen
Child.” A path led to a moss-covered island in the shape of a sleeping fairy woman. “Fairies, to me, embody the spirit of the land. I wanted to lead people back to that place.”
FIRST NOVEL AND THE BACK END by Bruce Strauch (The Citadel)
No doubt you learned in high school that Pamela was both the first novel and epistolary. Samuel Richardson was highly puritanical and sought to impart a lesson in just and prudent actions “in the common concerns of life.”
While Pamela’s letters are lively and conver
sational, they are consumed with issues of virtue
and honesty. Alexander Pope said the novel
would do more good than volumes of sermons.
It was wildly popular and inspired merchan
dise from tea cups to fans, spurious sequels, a
theatrical version plus a comic opera. h enry
Fielding, a failed playwright studying to be a
lawyer found it so unbearable he wrote a spoof
called Shamela with the girl a slattern. And
Joseph Andrews about her brother.
And of course he later gave us the ribald Tom Jones. See — Adelle Waldman, “The Man Who Made the Novel,” The New Yorker, May 16, 2016, p.84.
OH JOY! LET’S READ ABOUT BAD MARRIAGES by Bruce Strauch (The Citadel)
Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road (1961) (Madame Bovary set
in 1950s Connecticut suburbs); (2) Paula Fox, Desperate Characters
(1970) (anguish in Brooklyn before it was gentrified); (3) Saul
bellow, Humboldt’s Gift (1975) (divorcing man told by judge you can’t
dabble at marriage); (4) Sinclair Lewis, Main Street (1920) (feminism
encounters American boosterism); (5) evan S. Connell, Mrs. Bridge
& Mr. Bridge (1959, 1969) (You read it right. Companion novels about
emptiness within a marriage.)
See — Douglas Kennedy, “Five Best,” The Wall Street Journal,
April 23-24, 2016, p.C10. (Kennedy’s most recent novel is The Blue
Against the Grain / June 2016
See - jennie Rothenberg gritz , “Wild Irish Sage,” Smithsonian, June, 2016 , p. 18 .