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Rereadings /

Answering the question "is a book the same the second time around?" this collection of essays includes contributions from Sven Krkerts, Allegra Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Patricia Hampl, Phillip Lopate, and Luc Sante, among others. Full description

Other Authors: Fadiman, Anne, 1953-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006
Edition: First paperback edition.
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Is a book the same book--or a reader the same reader--the second time around? The seventeen authors in this witty and poignant collection of essays all agree on the answer: Never.

The editor of Rereadings is Anne Fadiman, and readers of her bestselling book Ex Libris will find this volume especially satisfying. Her chosen authors include Sven Birkerts, Allegra Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Patricia Hampl, Phillip Lopate, and Luc Sante; the objects of their literary affections range from Pride and Prejudice to Sue Barton, Student Nurse .

These essays are not conventional literary criticism; they are about relationships. Rereadings reveals at least as much about the reader as about the book: each is a miniature memoir that focuses on that most interesting of topics, the protean nature of love. And as every bibliophile knows, no love is more life-changing than the love of a book.


Anne FadimanDavid SamuelsJ.D. SalingerPatricia HamplSven BirkertsKnut HamsunVijay SeshadriWalt Whitman ?Arthur KrystalH.C.
On Rereading:Forward
Marginal Notes on the Inner Lives of People with Cluttered Apartments in the East Seventies
Franny and Zooey
Relics of Saint Katherine
The Journal, Letters, and Stories of Katherine Mansfield ?
Love's Wound, Love's Salve
Whitman's Triumph
"Song of Myself,"
Kid Roberts and Me
The Leather Pushers

Review by Booklist Review

As demonstrated in Ex Libris (1998), Fadiman is a superb literary essayist with a great appreciation for the art of reading. As editor of American Scholar, she has encouraged similarly incisive musings in a feature titled Rereadings, which was inspired by her experience reading a childhood favorite of her own to her son. Fadiman got to thinking about how books beloved in one's youth read differently in one's maturity. This theme generates juicy and satisfying blends of fluent literary criticism and rueful memoir as 17 writers revisit works that left them thunderstruck at a tender age and now lead them to confront their younger selves. Luc Sante reconsiders Rimbaud, Vivian Gornick rereads Colette, Allegra Goodman returns to Austen. In one of the finest pieces, Patricia Hampl offers a brilliant portrait of Katharine Mansfield and of the woman who introduced Hampl to the only writer Virginia Woolf viewed as a rival. And Sven Birkerts, in remembering his mother's fascination with Knut Hamsun and his own quaking response to Pan, offers the perfect description of the unending pleasure of books: time spent in a vivid elsewhere. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2005 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Former American Scholar editor Fadiman (Ex Libris) has drawn from a column in that journal for a charming collections of essays on the varied ways book lovers read. The best of these entries-Arthur Krystal's return to H.C. Witwer's boxing novel, The Leather Pushers; Dianna Kappel-Smith's assessment of the field guide that stirred an interest in the natural world; Michael Upchurch's consideration of Christina Stead's fictional financial world-are written by masters of the essay form, revealing themselves at the different phases of their lives through the act of reading. All of the writers share a gratitude for the books that helped them navigate their lives, especially over the rocky shoals of adolescence. The return to beloved works is not always simple, especially when readers come to see the faults in books that they so closely identified with years earlier. As many note, the act of reading changes over the course of a lifetime, from an easy engagement with plot and character to an awareness of politics and style. They may bemoan their own loss of literary innocence, but each finds a new way to appreciate the texts that have accompanied them through life. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Fadiman (The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down), a former editor at the American Scholar, has assembled this best-of collection of 17 essays from that magazine's "Rereadings" column, in which writers comment on a second reading of a beloved book, poem, or even album cover. One striking point is how many writers come away from the subsequent reading-usually the exact copy read previously, even with marginalia-questioning their previous appreciation of the work. One realizes how a particular mood or event ignites the experience between reader and book. Thus, Pico Iyer (Sun After Dark) comments on the Penguin Modern Classic edition of D.H. Lawrence's The Virgin and the Gypsy. While at the bedside of her dying father, Katherine Ashenberg (The Mourner's Dance) reflects on the Sue Barton nursing novels. Memories of summer camp flood back to David Michaels (N.C. Wyeth: A Biography) upon his second look at the cover of the Beatles's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The result is a fun challenge to bibliophiles and discussion groups to revisit past favorites. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries.-Joyce Sparrow, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas Cty., Pinellas Park, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Anne Fadiman is the author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down , winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award, an L.A. Times Book Prize, and a Salon Book Award. She is also the author of two essay collections, At Large and At Small and Ex Libris . Her essays and articles have appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker , and The New York Times , among other publications. She is the Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale.