Another Twofer: NYTBR 21 October 2007 & Recent Books by Stanford Alums (Only One of Whom is a Stegner)

First, books I am interested in reading after perusing the 21 October 2007 issue of The New York Times Book Review :

(1) After reading Liesl Schillinger’s review of Tom Perrotta’s new novel, The Abstinence Teacher :

Tom Perrotta’s new novel, The Abstinence Teacher

(2) After reading Christopher Benfey’s review of Sandra Smith’s translation of Irene Nemirovsky’s newly discovered novel, Fire in the Blood :

Irene Nemirovsky’s novel of the early events of World War II, Suite Francaise
Sandra Smith’s translation of Irene Nemirovsky’s newly discovered novel, Fire in the Blood

(3) After reading Joyce Johnson’s review of Bliss Broyard’s One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life — A Story of Race and Family Secrets :

Bliss Broyard’s One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life — A Story of Race and Family Secrets

(4) After reading Lee Siegel’s review of Alice Sebold’s new novel, The Almost Moon :

Alice Sebold’s memoir of her own rape, Lucky
Alice Sebold’s new novel, The Almost Moon

(5) After reading Adam Hochschild’s review of Marcus Rediker’s The Slave Ship: A Human History :

Marcus Rediker’s The Slave Ship: A Human History

(6) After reading Maud Newton’s review of Ellen Litman’s “novel in stories”, The Last Chicken in America :

Ellen Litman’s The Last Chicken in America

* * * *

From the “Shelf Life” section of the Stanford Alumni Magazine, Sept/Oct 2007:

First, the Stegner:

Naeem Murr : The Perfect Man

Leaving a childhood of staggering neglect behind in India and London, 12-year-old Rajiv Travers comes to be the ward of a romance writer who lives in Pisgah, MO during the 1950s.

Then, the Non-Stegners:

Taylor Antrim (’96, now an editor at ForbesLife): The Headmaster Ritual

Ed Wolfe, who identifies with North Korea and thinks Stalin was misunderstood, runs an exclusive prep school. His son, James, is a senior who’d like to get through the year unhazed.

Richard A. Walker (’69) : The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area :

Walker, a geography professor at UC Berkeley, writes a history of the activism that has allowed the Bay Area to remain “more greensward than asphalt jungle, more open space than hardscape.”

Paul Schmidtberger (JD ’91) : Design Flaws of the Human Condition

A beautiful product that works really well — until some little-noticed facet of it proves disastrous — is said to have a design flaw. Schmidtberger’s comic novel holds that infidelity is the design flaw of love.

2 Comments

  1. chancelucky said,

    October 30, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Both the novels actually sound kind of interesting. The Indian boy living with the romance writer in Missouri could be very interesting.

  2. October 30, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    Actually, there are THREE novels from the Stanford alums. Antrim’s and Schmidtberger’s are both novels. I thought it was interesting that Antrim is an editor for a business magazine, and Schmidtberger is a JD so perhaps he is a practicing lawyer! And the one about the Indian boy (that’s from the Stegner) DOES sound pretty interesting — !


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