- Reviewed Elsewhere
Contributing reviewers Nell Altizer, Patricia Angley, Alana Bell, Judith Lütge Coullie, Michael Fassiotto, Noel Kent, John W. I. Lee, Gabriel Merle, Dawn Morais, Barbara Bennett Peterson, Forrest R. Pitts, and Yvonne Ward provided the excerpts for this issue.
Publications reviewed include The Age, American Scientist, Annnals of the Association of American Geographers, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Cahiers Jaurès, Far Eastern Economic Review, (Toronto) Globe and Mail, Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of World History, Medieval Review, Les Monde des Livres, The New Yorker, New York Review of Books (NYRB), New York Times Book Review (NYTBR), Le Nouvel Observateur, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Science, Times Literary Supplement (TLS), Washington Post National Weekly Edition (WP), and Women's Review of Books, and from South Africa, African Studies Review, Artsmart, Cape Times, Fair Lady, Financial Times, The Herald, KZN Literary Tourism, Litnet, Servamus, Sowetan, and UCTNews.
Jean Améry. Irène Heidelberger-Leonard. Trans. (from German) Sacha Zilberfarb. Paris: Actes Sud, 2007. 370 pp. Euro28.
Born Hans Meyer (Oct. 31, 1912) in a Viennese Jewish bourgeois family, Jean Améry survived Auschwitz but remained a perpetual exile, for whom literature was the only "Heimat." In 1966, he published Par-delà le crime et le châtiment, an epoch-making essay meant to conquer the unconquerable. Ten years later, his Traité sur le suicide, defending intentional death, met with considerable success. But the failure of his
Charles Bovary led him to envisage suicide, which took place on Oct. 17, 1978. A harsh, even tragic life, lacking in the recognition so indispensable to men of letters that history relentlessly refused him.
Christine Lecerf. Le Monde des Livres, Jan. 18, 2008: 7.
Julie Andrews: An Intimate Biography. Richard Stirling. New York: St. Martin's, 2007. 376 pp. $27.95.
"Except for a few unrevealing interviews, Stirling, an actor as well as a writer, is reliant on pre-existing material. There is a rehash of some entertaining runins on the set of 'Hawaii' between Andrews and Richard Harris, who called her 'condescending and mean,' and there is the novelist Penelope Mortimer's damning summation: 'Miss Andrews depresses me. . . . If her vowel sounds weren't quite so pure, and her expression was less totally confident, I might [End Page 313] be able to feel a twinge of sympathy for her." The rest is a slog through the press coverage, mainly of her second marriage, to Blake Edwards, and her five children. Bizarre emphasis is put on the importance of her zodiac sign, and there are lots of breathy lines like 'Julie Andrews, the singing nun, would sing no more.'"
Emma Brockes. NYTBR, Mar. 30, 2008: 16.
La Vie d'après [The Afterlife]. Donald Antrim. Trans. (from US English) Francis Kerlin. Paris: Ed. De l'Olivier, 2007. 220 pp. Euro21.
His mother was alcoholic, and "infinitely fragile." After her death in 2000, Donald Antrim published several short autobiographical texts in the New Yorker, which later became chapters of The Afterlife, "a book which probably took me some 40 years to write," and in which grief and gravity leave a place for the miraculous solace of humor, and a Chekhovian sense of absurdity.
Fabienne Dumontet. Le Monde des Livres, Jan. 18, 2008: 10.
One Soldier's War. Arkady Babchenko. Trans. Nick Allen. New York: Grove, 2008. 395 pp. $27.50.
A memoir of his experience of the war in Chechnya told by a Russian conscript. "This is a great book. From cover to cover, it is filled with the realities and horrors of a war that barely touched the West. To read it, is to have a soldier's-eye view of what some called the Russian Vietnam."
Fred Doucette. Globe and Mail, Mar. 15, 2008: D5.
Balfour: The Last Grandee. R. J. Q. Adams. London: John Murray, 2007. 479 pp. £30.
An "accomplished and sympathetic new biography." "With solid research and balanced judgement, Adams uncovers as much of Balfour's deliberately shielded personality as is perhaps ascertainable."
Paul Smith. TLS, Feb. 8, 2008: 23.
Josephine Baker in Art and Life: The Icon and the Image. Bennetta Jules...