Deadly Sins

Deadly Sins

by Thomas Pynchon, By, Richard Howard, Gore Vidal
     
 

Who among us has not enjoyed a sin or two? Here are eight of the best present-day writers, discoursing on their favorite transgressions. (Even though Saint Thomas Aquinas only spoke of seven deadly sins, Joyce Carol Oates wanted to explore Despair.) Without guilt, readers can partake as the authors energetically defend Anger, Lust, Pride, and more. Line drawings.…  See more details below

Overview

Who among us has not enjoyed a sin or two? Here are eight of the best present-day writers, discoursing on their favorite transgressions. (Even though Saint Thomas Aquinas only spoke of seven deadly sins, Joyce Carol Oates wanted to explore Despair.) Without guilt, readers can partake as the authors energetically defend Anger, Lust, Pride, and more. Line drawings. 2-color throughout.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Collecting eight essays by eight writers originally published in the New York Times Book Review during the summer of 1993, this anthology considers, one by one, the legendary seven deadly sins. But in addition to sloth, anger, lust, gluttony, avarice, pride and envy, this volume includes despair, which Joyce Carol Oates calls ``the sole sin that cannot be forgiven.'' Although each reflection is engaging and thoughtful, Mary Gordon's description of the murderous nature of anger is especially powerful. William Trevor's experience with a gluttonous accountant skates along the thin line separating comedy and tragedy and Richard Howard offers a poem about avarice. Each sin is whimsically represented by one of Delessert's playful black-and-white line illustrations. (Oct.)
Library Journal
In this collection of essays, which first appeared in the New York Times Book Review, our most distinguished writers court the irresistible attractions of the seven deadly sins-plus one. Sloth, anger, lust, gluttony, avarice, pride, envy, and despair-these are the fodder of great literature, and masters from Thomas Pynchon (on sloth) to Mary Gordon (anger) to Joyce Carol Oates (despair) do them justice. John Updike, tracing the origins of the word lust in early Christianity, offers an eloquent defense of the burning of the flesh that "calls into activity our most elegant faculties." Gore Vidal defines pride as defiance in the face of "powers that enslave us"; he wonders, rather grandiloquently, whether pride is a sin at all. Richard Howard, in his poem about avarice, portrays Balzac, the celebrated author whose characters have excelled in that vice, while William Trevor, in a Dickensian flourish, depicts a singular personage of his acquaintance who perfectly personifies the sin of gluttony. These delightful literary exercises will appeal to all writers and readers.-Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688146160
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/05/1996
Product dimensions:
5.68(w) x 7.79(h) x 0.42(d)

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